Dolly Parton Reveals Rare Details Behind 5 Decade Long Marriage
Cailyn Finkel 11/21/2018
Dolly Parton has been in the spotlight since she was a young girl. Every aspect of her life has been under a magnifying glass due to her millions of loyal fans, and oftentimes, she welcomes their excitement with open arms. She knows the fame and fortune she's amassed comes with the scrutiny of being country music's sweetheart.
Despite her willingness to live out loud, there's one part of her personal life that's been off-limits for more than five decades: her marriage. Dolly's refused to speak in-depth about her loving, 52-year-long marriage with Carl Thomas Dean spare a few special occasions.
But Dolly broke her typical protocol and recently opened up about her life with Carl in a length PEOPLE Magazine interview.
Dolly told PEOPLEthat her marriage with Carl spans a good portion of her life! The couple got married in 1966 and have remained devoted to each other every day since.
"I've been married for 53 years come next May, and my husband and I have a great relationship. We've been together most of our lives."
Instead of marrying in a large ceremony with a ton of friends and family, Carl and Dolly snuck off to wed in a secret ceremony. Only a handful of family members attended and Dolly wasn't able to wear the dream dress she imagined as a little girl. So when their 50th anniversary rolled around, Dolly went all-out.
Dolly gushed to PEOPLE about the fancy celebration she and Carl threw themselves.
"I never really felt like I had the wedding that we really wanted. He got all dressed up and I got all dressed up. Fifty years is a long time for anything, and I felt that we needed to do something to commemorate this. It's been a good 50 years and I don't know how many more years we'll have left."
In 52 years of marriage, Dolly's learned one big thing - absence truly does make the heart grow fonder. Through decades of touring and countless hours spent on the phone from the road, Dolly and Carl make every second they have together count.
"I always joke and laugh when people ask me what's the key to my long marriage and lasting love. I always say 'Stay gone!' and there's a lot of truth to that. I travel a lot, but we really enjoy each other when we're together and the little things we do."
When asked what her overarching career message was, Dolly simply said "love." She elaborated:
"I believe that everyone should be able to love who they love how they love. Love is love. When I was younger, I used to wonder what my life would be like when I was older. I always wanted to do something to touch people, and I am grateful that I've seen my dreams come true."
She and Carl have a love that will last a lifetime - and we're so lucky to watch them experience it in real time. Hopefully, Dolly's advice will help other couples hit major milestones as well.