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U2 singer Bono reveals how he almost drove wife away

‘The two of us have had our love tested’

Bono and his wife Ali Hewson (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Ciara O'

“Ali would have been happier with a life that was simpler,” Bono says in his new tell-all memoir, admitting that he almost drove his wife away while he toured the globe with U2 and she looked after their four children.

The U2 frontman and his wife Ali Hewson have been married for 40 years and they share four children: Jordan (33), Eve (31), Elijah (23), and John (21).

They first met at 12 years old at Mount Temple Comprehensive School, where U2 was also formed.

In his new memoir due to be published on November 1, called Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story, Bono opens up about his hectic life of being in one of the world’s biggest bands, and how it affected his family.

He says the book is a “love letter” to his wife, and it illustrates the “grand madness” of their past 40 years together.

“Ali covered for me at home. It is a love letter to her, but I want my children to know what I was doing with myself,” Bono told the Irish Times.

“I got to spend a lot more time with my kids than most because when I am home, I am really home.

“When we were away because U2 had such good fortune, we could bring our children with us.

“So I don’t feel they lost as much as they could have, but they lost some of me and that is why I wrote the book.”

However, he admitted that he failed to appreciate how much his life as a global musician affected his family, and this almost drove Ali away.

“I wasn’t as modest, and I definitely failed to appreciate how much my life as an artist and an activist were being covered by my partner and though when I was home I was really at home, there were times when I was home and I wasn’t; I was somewhere else in my head, and that nearly drove Ali away,” he said.

“But the two of us have, at different times, had our love tested, and the sense that one will get the other home overpowers all other desires.”

The singer said a health scare in 2016 that he kept private gave him a “big wake-up call” and he has since been striving for a simpler life.

He had a blister on his aorta that was about to burst and underwent heart surgery in a New York hospital.

“I have had a few hints. I had the divine elbow a few times. This was the big wake-up call. I have gone in search of a simpler life but I haven’t really surrendered to the consequences of that yet,” he told the publication.

Striving for a simpler life is why he lives in Dublin and raised his family here, as Irish people are less bothered by his fame.

“I like that Ireland has a more horizontal relationship with U2,” he said.

“I am very distrustful of vertical relationships – hence my marriage, hence being in a band. I don’t want to have a boss. I don’t want to be a boss.”

He added that “nothing makes sense” about U2’s relationship with Ireland, as the band has been involved in many controversies over the years, such as Irish fans distaste for them moving one of their companies to the Netherlands to save tax.

“Nothing makes sense about U2 and our relationship with Ireland. We were and still are a social experiment,” Bono said.

“It is like Edge’s line – he can be very, very dry – ‘if people don’t like U2, they are just not trying hard enough’.”

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