Dolly Parton's secret to a happy marriage revealed as music legend discusses her 56-year-long union with Carl Dean

Dolly Parton's husband Carl Dean may be under the radar but this and another adorable trait are why they've lasted so long claims singer

Co-host Dolly Parton speaks onstage during the 57th Academy of Country Music Awards at Allegiant Stadium on March 07, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
(Image credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for ACM)

Dolly Parton's husband Carl Thomas Dean may be notoriously private and rarely seen in public, but according to Dolly - that's just how she likes it. Although very little is known about the couple's relationship, Dolly opened up about the secret to their long and happy marriage. 

You don't need to stray far from some of her best known tracks to learn how Dolly Parton’s husband has inspired some of her ‘best work’. One prime example is a certain auburn-haired temptress called Jolene who nearly stopped the incredible story of Dolly Parton's marriage in its tracks!

In a world where it may seem hard to meet a person that's right for you, any advice on succeeding in the romantic arena is much appreciated. So needless to say, when the 9 to 5 singer opened up to ET Canada about how she's stayed loved up for over half a century - many eager ears were listening. 

The star said, “I like it when people say, ‘How did it last so long?’ I say, ‘I stay going.' You know, there’s a lot to be said about that. So we’re not in each other’s face all the time," she explained. "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's husband Carl bumped into her on her very first day in Nashville and the pair were crazy about each other from the start. Two years later the pair wed. 

Carl and Dolly have never shared their relationship on the public forum, with Carl being far more interested in a simple, homebody life. Any images of them are generally from the singer's private collection, including one super cute Instagram post captioned, "Find you a partner who will support you like my Carl Dean does!"

She's previously discussed how they're 'complete opposites' but while chatting to ET Canada, discussed the one thing they share that keeps them loved up - a sense of humor.

“We both have a warped sense of humor," Dolly explained, "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 added.

As well as having the giggles, Dolly added that in their 56 years - they've never had any major arguments. “We’ve never had, you know, serious arguments to say bad things to each other we have to take back,” she added happily.

Of late, the country music star and philanthropist has been opening up about plenty of long-held secrets and beauty fans were delighted when Dolly Parton's secret to youthful skin at 76 turned out to be absolutely free.

Aoife Hanna
Junior News Editor

Aoife is an Irish journalist and writer with a background in creative writing, comedy, and TV production.

Formerly woman&home's junior news editor and a contributing writer at Bustle, her words can be found in the Metro, Huffpost, Delicious, Imperica and EVOKE.

Her poetry features in the Queer Life, Queer Love anthology.

Outside of work you might bump into her at a garden center, charity shop, yoga studio, lifting heavy weights, or (most likely) supping/eating some sort of delicious drink/meal.