Jon Bon Jovi says ''mutual respect'' is the secret to his 40-year relationship with his wife Dorothea Bongiovi.

The 58-year-old rocker has been romancing Dorothea - whom he married in 1989 - since they were teenagers, and has hailed their shared respect for another throughout the years as the main reason they've been able to stay together for four decades.

When asked what their secret is, Jon said: ''Mutual respect. Having grown up together and grown together. And we really like each other. We want to hang out.''

Whilst Dorothea added: ''I always said I was good at spotting potential too. I have a gift.''

Jon also says he was ''immediately drawn'' to Dorothea, and recalled a time in which she let the music legend copy her history work in school.

He explained to People magazine: ''She let me cheat off her in history! I was immediately drawn to her from the minute I saw her - and that's never changed - 40 years ago.''

The sweet comments come after Jon recently said he's happy to be the ''poster boy'' for married rockers, as he's witnessed many of his musician pals go through divorce.

He said: ''I've been blessed to have my wife in my life for so long and it made home life balanced. I didn't have to fret about that. I've seen my guys go through divorces and difficult times, and trying to leave it off the stage isn't easy.

''I'm the only one lucky enough not to have been divorced. It's taxing up here! Bono's been married for as long or longer, so has Bruce [Springsteen], but I have to accept this mantle of being the poster boy of married rock stars. I'm happy with that.''