Dolly Parton Reveals the Surprising Secret to Her 54-Year Marriage

Kristyn Burtt
·2 min read

We might be the biggest Dolly Parton fans in the world, but we still have no idea what her husband, Carl Dean, looks like. And that’s exactly the way the couple like it. They’ve designed their public and private life where they are two very separate things. It’s the glue that holds their 54-year marriage together because no one has a say in their relationship but them.

Parton is promoting her new book, Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics, where she reveals that people believe he’s a figment of her imagination. “A lot of people have thought that through the years because he does not want to be in the spotlight at all,” Parton told Entertainment Tonight. “It’s just not who he is. He’s like, a quiet, reserved person and he figured if he ever got out there in that, he’d never get a minute’s peace and he’s right about that.”

Just take one look at Parton’s social media pages and it’s filled with selfies and photos with music industry friends, not a sign of Dean — and no pics of them at awards shows either. Their marriage is about the two of them and no one else.

“I’ve always respected and appreciated that in him and I’ve always tried to keep him out of the limelight as much as I can,” she explained. “He said, ‘I didn’t choose this world, I chose you, and you chose that world… but we can keep our lives separate and together.’ And we do and we have. We’ve been together 56 years, married 54.”

While she jokes that the secret to their long-lasting marriage is pretty simple — “Because I stay gone.” That may not work for many couples, but it does for Parton and Dean. The duo’s private moments are fairly simple, so downright normal that it makes you love them even more. “We both have a great sense of humor. So, we have a lot of fun.” Parton revealed. “We have very similar tastes… we love to travel around our little RV, and we don’t like parties and all that stuff.”

So, while we would love a reality show of Parton and Dean’s own version of The Simple Life, we know they are going to keep that flame burning brightly without our prying eyes.

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