The husband to one of country music’s most-successful women has been outside of the spotlight for the last 50 years but has been a tremendous part of her life…

Carl Dean and Dolly Parton | Photo Credits: dollyparton.com

In a brand-new interview with People Magazine, Dolly Parton opens up about her 52-year marriage and her secret to keeping it alive…

“I’ve been married for 52 years come next May, and my husband and I have a great relationship. We’ve been together most of our lives.”

Parton and husband Carl Dean first met when she was working at the Wishy Washy Laundromat in Tennessee. It wasn’t long before they got married because her first record label was putting pressure on her to remain single.

Carl Dean and Dolly Parton | Photo Credits: dollyparton.com

Their wedding, on May 30th, 1966, was a spur-of-the-moment decision and they headed down to a little white church in Georgia.

“We’d already sent out invitations and so I thought, ‘I ain’t waiting!’ We went that same weekend to Ringgold, Georgia, in a little church. I had a little white dress and little flowers, and my mom went with me.”

– Dolly Parton

Elopement with Her Husband

Back in 1966, these two eloped because her record label had made it clear they preferred her to stay unwed. However, she was not going to wait and still wanted to keep her record deal upon moving to Nashville.

Carl Dean and Dolly Parton | Photo Credits: dollyparton.com

Just two years ago, on their 50th anniversary, these two finally had the big beautiful ceremony they had always dreamed of – and they renewed their vows.

“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 0 years and I don’t know how many more years we’ll have left.”

The Secret to a Lasting Love

After eloping at such a young age, and keeping the spark alive for more than half a century, Dolly is exposing the secret trick she uses to keep her marriage alive.

“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.”

dolly parton and carl dean | Photo Credits: countryliving.com

Some of their little things they do include taking weekend mini trips with their little camper, dining out at their favorite “under-the-radar” places they can relax at, and having countryside picnic lunches.

Clearly, these two have unlocked the secret to happy, long-lasting marriage and we couldn’t be happier for them!

Watch Dolly Parton as she shares the key to a successful marriage and talks about her 50th anniversary:

https://youtu.be/DV7chzsn-jw