Jon Bon Jovi Reveals the Secret to His 35-Year Marriage to His Wife Dorothea

Jon Bon Jovi Reveals the Secret to His 35-Year Marriage to His Wife Dorothea
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Jon Bon Jovi and his wife Dorothea Hurley have quite a storied romance.

The two were high school sweethearts, eloped to Las Vegas and had four children together. Their secret to success? "Somehow it works. I think because we grow at the same rate. We grew equally and not in opposite directions," Dorothea told PEOPLE in 2016.

The "You Give Love A Bad Name" singer added: "She's the glue... I'm the crazy visionary with all kinds of things flying, and the seams are all splitting. She's the one following me with the glue and the thread and needle, keeping it all together.".

If you were wondering who Jon Bongiovi's wife is, you're halfway there. Read all about Jon and Dorothea's decades-long relationship, ahead.

Jon and Dorothea met in 1980.

jon bon jovi and dorothea hurley attend the rockers '85 awards ceremony in los angeles, california, on march 1985
Jon and Dorothea attend the Rockers ’85 awards ceremony in Los Angeles, California, on March 1985.Vinnie Zuffante - Getty Images

The two met as high school students at Sayreville War Memorial High School in New Jersey. "She let me cheat off her in history," he said, per PEOPLE. "I was immediately drawn to her from the minute I saw her and that never changed."

Years later on SiriusXM's The Howard Stern Show, Dorothea reminisced about the early days of their relationship, including her first impression of Jon. She said he was "100%" the cutest guy in high school. "I just remember being impressed that you could sing," she told her husband. "He was very good."

It seems she always had faith in his talents — the two even skipped their high school prom for one of Jon's early gigs. His musical aspirations didn't come without its naysayers, though. Dorothea recalled conversations with her family: "'I said, 'Well, my boyfriend's going to be a rockstar,' and they were like, 'Good luck with that.'"

The two briefly broke up.

Despite hitting it off early on, the high school sweethearts broke up in 1985. As Under the Tuscan Sun star Diane Lane later revealed on Watch What Happens Live, she and Jon briefly dated for five months — until he and Dorothea rekindled.

Fortunately, there's no bad blood. "I was 20, and I think every girl should have such a wonderful experience that young," the actress told host Andy Cohen.

Nine years after meeting, the couple eloped in Vegas.

During a secret Las Vegas ceremony in 1989, Jon and Dorothea tied the knot. It all happened at the height of the band's career, too. "We had the No. 1 album, the No. 1 single, and we were playing three nights at the Forum in L.A.," he told Men's Health in 2010.

dorothea hurley arrives for her wedding to jon bon jovi at the graceland wedding chapel in las vegas, nevada, 29th april 1989
Dorothea arrives for her wedding to Jon at the Graceland Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada, on April 29, 1989.Vinnie Zuffante - Getty Images

The "Wanted Dead Or Alive" singer continued: "I turned to Dorothea and said, 'I got an idea. Why don't we go right now?' She said, 'You're out of your mind.' I said, 'Come on. What's better than this, right now, this moment?' And so we ran off to Las Vegas. Didn't tell a soul."

In fact, their decision to elope was so spontaneous that their taxi driver acted as their witness. The "Livin' on a Prayer" singer also shared that, at the time, the surprise nuptials weren't received well by family and friends.

"It shocked a lot of people — shocked about everybody: the band, management, agents, lawyers, parents, you name it," he told PEOPLE. "It's a shame because it should have been a beautiful moment, but after we did it, people were trying to take it away. And 35 years later, we're still married."

jon signing autographs for fans alongside his wife, dorothea, circa 1990
Jon signing autographs for fans alongside his wife, Dorothea, circa 1990.Vinnie Zuffante - Getty Images

Fans were equally distraught by the marriage. "It was like Harry Styles or Justin Timberlake getting married," he told The Mirror. "I was that to the young girls in my time. When I came back from Vegas, my manager was furious. He was like, '­America's boy is now married... that's not a good career move.' The record company was also despondent."

Jon admitted that he had regrets.

Back in 1992, Jon released the single "Bed of Roses," which is about the star regretting his escapades on the road. He shed more light on that time when sitting down with ABC's Michael Strahan to promote his 2024 documentary "Thank You, Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story."

Michael asked the "It's My Life" singer about getting married young and the stress of being a "sex symbol." Jon admitted: "I got away with murder." He explained, "I'm a rock 'n' roll star. I'm not a saint. I'm not saying that there weren't 100 girls in my life. I'm Jon Bon Jovi. It was pretty good!"

Though he didn't dive too deep, Jon clarified that he never did anything that would risk his relationship with Dorothea. "But if you think I was ever going to jeopardize … anything for believing the narcissist in me was real? What a stupid thing to do," he said. "What kind of excess does a man need that's going to fuel that fire? It’s just not worth it."

His remarks echoed a quote he previously gave The Independent about his and Dorothea's marriage. "These are all the wonderful clichés of rock stardom," he told the outlet. "It's about never lying about having been a saint, but not being a fool enough to f--k up the home life, either."

They have four kids together.

From there out, the two started a loving family together. Jon and Dorothea welcomed their first child, Stephanie Rose, on May 31, 1993. Notably, a 7-year-old Stephanie joined her dad on stage to perform the song he wrote for her, "I Got The Girl," and again at one of his Las Vegas shows in 2017.

inductee jon and his family attend the 33rd annual rock roll hall of fame induction ceremony at public auditorium on april 14, 2018
Inductee Jon and his family attend the 33rd Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at Public Auditorium on April 14, 2018.Kevin Mazur - Getty Images

The couple had their son, Jesse James Louis, on February 19, 1995. Jesse would later launch the wine label Hampton Water with his dad in 2018.

Jon almost missed the birth of their third son, Jacob "Jake" Hurley, on May 7, 2002. A day before, fans figured out how to call his hotel phone, which made him turn it off. So when Dorothea called to tell him her water broke, she couldn't reach him.

His tour manager woke him to break the news, and he took a private plane back to catch his son's delivery in the nick of time. Jon's son Jake is currently engaged to Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown.

Two years later, Romeo Jon, the couple's fourth child, was born on March 29, 2004. Recnetly, Jon opened up about the power of fatherhood toPEOPLE. "You think you're in love when you're a kid, and you meet your wife and get married, but you know you're in love after you have a child."

Jon largely credited Dorothea for their success.

The Bon Jovi frontman has continuously lauded his wife for her support over the years. "I'm not a saint, and I have not been a saint," he said during a Men's Health interview. "I missed tons of birthdays and school plays... [Dorothea has] been in it the whole game. She understands what it means. It's my life, and it is what it is."

After more than four decades together, Jon said the key to making it work is "mutual respect." He told PEOPLE: "Having grown up together and grown together. And we really like each other. We want to hang out."

Their love story continues to touch fans. Upon one of the couple's wedding anniversaries, he dedicated a sweet message to Dorothea on Instagram. The post included a black-and-white photo taken at their Las Vegas wedding and a short snippet of the two embracing.

He penned the caption: "If I got one thing right back in high school, it was falling in love with this girl. Happy 32nd anniversary, baby."

The couple celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary on April 29.

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