Bono has revealed his 40-year marriage to his wife Ali Hawson has been ‘like a relay race,’ while detailing the moment their relationship came close to breaking point.
The U2 frontman, 62, who described his upcoming memoir as a ‘love letter’ to his spouse, told The Sunday Times Magazine that at one point in the 1980s Ali ‘wanted to jump’ from their union after he became less present during their home life.
Bono added that his love for Ali has helped them through the ‘dark waters’ of their relationship, and they were always able to ‘pull each other back’ during the difficult times.
Together: Bono has revealed his 40-year marriage to his wife Ali has been ‘like a relay race,’ while detailing the moment their marriage came close to breaking point
Speaking ahead of the release of his memoir Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story, Bono offered rare insight into his marriage to Ali.
He explained: ‘It’s not like our love was absent any dark undercurrents or briny water, [but] we got each other through those bits where it was hard to see where we were. Ali calls it ”the work of love”. I wish she wouldn’t use the word ‘work’ because I have a feeling there’s an adjective, ”hard”, that’s inferred…
‘If one of us got lost the other was going to get us back, that’s kind of been the way it’s been for us. I think in relationships somebody is in charge at some point, but you swap. It’s a relay race.’
Tough time: The U2 frontman revealed Ali ‘wanted to jump’ from their union after he became less present during their home life during the 1980s (pictured in 1991)
Bono went onto detail that one of the challenging moments during his marriage to Ali came in the 1980s, when he had become ‘less present’ at home due to his busy touring schedule.
He added: ‘The significant thing about Ali was she was never going to be ‘her indoors’,’ he says. ‘She was never going to be just my girlfriend and she was never going to be just my wife. So if I was home I’d better be present.
‘And in the Eighties at some point I was home but I wasn’t present. And that’s when I think she wanted to jump.’
Despite the challenges, Bono and Ali’s marriage is now stronger than ever, and they are proud parents to four children, Jordan, 33, Eve, 31, Elijah, 23, and John, 21.
Supportive: Bono added that his love for Ali has helped them through the ‘dark waters’ of their relationship, and they were always able to ‘pull each other back’ during the difficult times
In his memoir, Bono also reflects on his relationship with his U2 bandmates, adding that after despite decades performing together, there were moments then they’ve ‘run out of love,’ for each other.
In an extract from his memoir, published by The Sun, the Beautiful Day frontman wrote: ‘We break up all the time, after tours or albums where we have had to stretch a little too far…
‘We’ve never been critical of each other in public, but it’s no criticism to say we’ve sometimes run out of love. It happens. The well of friendship can run dry in a family, a marriage, a community, a band.
‘A good strategy for me is to continually go back to the source. To drop my bucket in the well in hope of a refill.’
It comes after Bono confessed he had a ‘combative relationship’ with his late father Brendan Hewson while appearing on Friday’s The Graham Norton Show.
Family: Despite the challenges, Bono and Ali’s marriage is now stronger than ever, and they are proud parents to four children (pictured with their daughters Eve and Jordan in 2016)
He had previously revealed Brendan had an affair with his aunt Barbara and that he subsequently has a cousin, who is actually his half-brother.
While promoting his new memoir Surrender, the U2 star said of his dad, who passed away from cancer in 2001: ‘We had a combative relationship and I wanted to impress him so I flew him out to Texas to see me in concert.
‘Afterwards he came in and his eyes were all red and I thought, ‘Oh my god, my father is going to give me a compliment and I did a deep swallow.’
‘He put out his hand and said, ‘You are very professional.’ That meant everything to him – and from him it was the greatest compliment.’
Insight: In his memoir, Bono also reflects on his relationship with his U2 bandmates, including moments when they’ve ‘run out of love’ for each other
Last week, Bono revealed that one of his cousins is actually his half-brother.
The shock disclosure comes four months after the rocker first revealed he had a sibling, whose parentage had been kept a family secret for decades.
Appearing on Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs in June, Bono revealed that his half-brother, whom he did not name at the time, was born following an affair in the 1960s between his father Bob and a ‘gorgeous woman’.
Now he has revealed that woman was his aunt Barbara and that their child is Scott Rankin, a stock market analyst and civil servant.
Revelation: It comes after Bono confessed he had a ‘combative relationship’ with his late father Brendan Hewson (pictured in 2000)
Bono’s mother Iris died in 1974, when the musician was 14, never knowing about the infidelity.
Barbara, who is still living in Dublin, was married to Iris’s brother, Jack, who died in 2020.
Exposure of the affair between Bob and Iris at the time in conservative, Catholic Ireland would have brought potentially life-shattering consequences, so instead it remained buried for decades.
And Bono – whose real name is Paul Hewson – only learnt of his father’s devastating secret in 2000, a year before Bob died of cancer.
Revelation: The shock disclosure comes four months after the rocker first revealed he had a sibling, whose parentage had been kept a family secret for decades (pictured in 1993)