Dolly Parton Reveals the Secret to Her 56-Year Marriage to Carl Thomas Dean

Parton spoke about how the couple have made their marriage go the distance.

Dolly Parton is sharing the secret to her 56-year marriage with Carl Thomas Dean. In a new interview with ET Canada, Parton said having different interests has contributed greatly to their long-lasting love story.

“I like it when people say, ‘How did it last so long?’ I say, ‘It’s stay going,'” Parton shared. “You know, there’s a lot to be said about that. So, we’re not in each other’s face all the time. He’s not in the business, so we have different interests, but yet we have the things we love to do together. So, it was meant to be, I think. He was the one I was supposed to have and vice versa.”

Dolly Parton attends the 37th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Having a “warped sense of humor” doesn’t hurt either, with the 76-year-old singer sharing that through all the ups and downs, it’s laughter that has gotten them through.

“We both have a warped sense of humor. And I think humor, honestly, is one of the best things when you’re married like that. Even if you have a problem, if you have a great sense of humor, if you say something you can’t take back [you] usually have some crazy way of getting out of it,” she explained.

They’ve managed to steer clear of bad arguments over the years too, with Parton adding, “We’ve never had, you know, serious arguments to say bad things to each other we have to take back.”

dolly parton, carl

While Parton has given fans glimpses of her relationship with Dean over the years, including the occasional throwback, the couple have largely remained mum when it comes to their marriage.

When ET’s Rachel Smith spoke to Parton in October 2020, she opened up about why she and Dean have kept their relationship private since tying the knot in 1966.

Dolly Parton and Carl Dean

“He does not want to be in the spotlight at all,” Parton said. “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.”

“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 continued. “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.”

For more on Parton, check out the video below.

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