There’s A Lot To Learn From Singer, Dolly Parton And Husband’s 53 Years Blissful Marital Journey

If you feel like your relationship is going nowhere, listen to Dolly Parton’s advice. Dolly, an American singer-songwriter and her husband, Carl Thomas Dean, have been together for more than 50 years, and this is a feat that only a few big celebrities can achieve.

No one would have thought that these two met at a laundromat. It was almost like love at first sight for Carl and he always knew that Dolly was the one for him. On May 30, the couple celebrated 53 years wedding anniversary.

The big question is, what’s the secret to such a successful and long marriage? If you were to look back through Dolly’s Instagram or Facebook, you’ll struggle to find any evidence that he even exists. But that’s because Carl has always preferred to stay out of the celebrity world.

In a world dominated by social media and celebrity obsessions, it’s been an amazing feat of both Dolly and Carl to keep their private life as secret as possible.

When the larger-than-life entertainer was just 18 years and had recently arrived in Nashville, she was doing her laundry at the Wishy Washy laundromat when 21-year-old Carl Dean drove by in his white Chevy pickup truck.

He stopped to mention that she would get sunburnt in her outfit in the sun, then soon flirted as she went indoors to fold her clothes. Carl said at the couple’s 52nd wedding anniversary in 2018:

“My first thought was I’m gonna marry that girl. My second thought was, ‘Lord she’s good lookin’. And that was the day my life began. I wouldn’t trade the last 50 years for nothing on this earth.”

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Dolly said she was “surprised and delighted” that the handsome man looked at her face while they were talking. She recalled:

“A rare thing for me and he seemed to be genuinely interested in finding out who I was and what I was about.”

The pair started dating, and Dolly soon signed a record deal. They were soon engaged, but they didn’t quite have the wedding she hoped for. Dolly said:

“Everyone at my label had invested money in me and in building my career, so they asked me if I’d wait a year to get married. And I didn’t want to not do what I was supposed to do. Carl’s mother was just heartbroken.”

Two years after they met they married when Dolly was 21 in Ringgold, Georgia, on Memorial Day 1966. The only witnesses were Dolly’s mother, Avie Lee, and the preacher and his wife. Dolly told CMT:

“My mother made me a little white dress and a little bouquet. But I said, ‘I can’t get married in a courthouse because I’ll never feel married’. So we found a little Baptist church in town, and went up to Pastor Don Duvall and said, ‘Would you marry us?’ We got pictures on the steps right outside the church.”

Carl made it clear that he had no interest in being known to the public. After joining her on the red carpet for an event in 1966, Carl said on the drive home:

“Dolly, I want you to have everything you want, and I’m happy for you, but don’t you ever ask me to go to another one of them dang things again!”

For their 50th wedding anniversary 3 years ago, Dolly convinced Carl to have a big ceremony in Nashville — something he only agreed to because they planned to sell photos to raise money for charity. The couple then spent their second honeymoon in their favourite camper van by the lake in Ringgold, Georgia. She told PEOPLE:

“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. If I had it to do all over, I’d do it all over again, and we did. I’m dragging him kicking and screaming into the next 50 years.”

SEE ALSO: 42 Years & Counting: Veteran Journalist, Sir Mike Osunde And Wife Speak To Intending & Young Couples On How To Make Their Marriage Last As Long As Theirs

Last year, while the couple marked 52 years of marital bliss, Dolly shared some of the secrets that have helped sustained their relationship. She said:

”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.

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. I know every line in his face and he knows every hair in my wig.”

She went on to reveal that another secret to their success in marriage is that her husband doesn’t like to appear in public or walk the red carpet. Dolly added:

”When I met my husband, he wanted to take me out to dinner. He pulled up to the drive-in window and got our food at McDonald’s. We know a few little places we can go without being bothered. He only likes to go places where he can be comfortable!

He knows I’m always going to kind of be fixed up for him because I don’t believe in going home and being a slouch. But he doesn’t care what I wear as long as I’m happy. He loves me the way I am.”

Carl openly does not attend work functions with his wife and allows the necessary time apart. According to an interview with Today in 2014, Dolly revealed that her hubby isn’t even a huge fan of her music, but he continues to love her despite that! They’re the kind of couple who prefers private trips in their camper and picnics than going to a fancy restaurant.

When the duo celebrated their anniversary this year, Dolly disclosed another secret to their successful marriage -“a wife who forgives the foolishness of her husband and a husband who ignores the stupidity of his wife”.

While the pair have never had children, they are both committed to supporting Dolly’s large family, and have worked with many children through her charities. She said:

”Now that I’m older, I realize I didn’t have kids of my own, so everybody’s kids could be mine. I [want to] empower children and give them confidence.”

Dolly is 73 years old and Dean is 77 years old.

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