Jon Bon Jovi and his wife Dorothea on keeping their marriage strong — and giving back, together

By Jeff Nelson
September 30, 2020 08:00 AM
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Jon Bon Jovi and wife Dorothea Bongiovi give love a good name.

In this week's cover story, the rock star and his high school sweetheart — who still finish each other's sentences — opened up to PEOPLE exclusively about their 40-year bond, keeping their 31-year marriage strong and raising their four children.

Their secret?

″Mutual respect,″ says Jon, whose new Bon Jovi album, 2020, drops Friday, Oct. 2. ″Having grown up together and grown together. And we really like each other. We want to hang out.″

Adds Dorothea: ″I always said I was good at spotting potential too. I have a gift."

Watch the full episode of People Cover Story: Jon Bon Jovi and Wife Dorothea streaming now on PeopleTV.com, or download the PeopleTV app on your favorite device.

Credit: Jake Chessum

All these years later, the pair, both 58, are even closer because of their not-so rock-and-roll marriage and close-knit family life with their four kids, daughter Stephanie, 27, and sons Jesse, 25, Jacob, 18, and Romeo, 16.

Jon Bon Jovi and Dorothea Bongiovi in 1990
| Credit: J Scott Applewhite/AP/Shutterstock
Jon Bon Jovi & wife Dorothea Bongiovi in 1995
| Credit: Jeff Kravitz/Filmmagic

Despite the hit singles, world tours and countless adoring fans, Jon remained grounded, thanks to his solid bond with Dorothea, whom he says is, ″without a doubt,″ his rock.

″We work hard at it, but we enjoy each other and we never fell for the trappings of what celebrity can do,″ says the ″Livin' on a Prayer″ rocker. ″We've witnessed that happen over the years to people that were close to us and people that we knew from afar. It’s just what I do, it's not who I am. I write songs. I happen to be very good at performing them. That's it."

Credit: Jake Chessum

″It's a partnership,″ Dorothea adds of their work with the Soul Foundation, which they launched in 2006. ″When we see injustice or people suffering, you want to help. We're very blessed, and we have the ability to do that.″

Now Jon is slowly shifting his focus back to rockstar life, with face masks on and Dorothea by his side.

″I'm happiest,” he says, ″if I like what I do for a living, I'm doing right by my family and I'm making the world just a little bit better."

For more on Jon Bon Jovi & wife Dorothea, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands everywhere Friday.