Country music legend Dolly Parton has always had a mutual agreement with her husband Carl Dean to keep him out of the spotlight, and during a recent interview she spoke out about the arrangement.
During an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Parton, 74, talked about her 54-year marriage to Dean, 78. The singer opened up about Dean’s private lifestyle in comparison to her public persona. She even joked about fans thinking Dean is imaginary since it’s an absolute rarity he’s seen with his famous wife.
“A lot of people have thought that through the years because he does not want to be in the spotlight at all. It’s just not who he is,” Parton explained. “He’s, like, a quiet, reserved person. He figured if he ever got out there in that, he’d never get a minute’s peace. And he’s right about that.”
Parton says Dean did not choose the celebrity lifestyle. But, he did choose her. So they’ve managed to make both work for each of them.
“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,” Parton 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.”
Additionally, Parton says that their separate lives have been an asset to their long-lasting marriage. In a way, the couple abides by the old saying that absence makes the heart grow fonder.
“Our joke about the fact, when people ask me why it’s lasted this long, I say, ‘Because I stay gone.’ And there’s a lot of truth in that — the fact that we’re not in each other’s faces all the time. But we do have a great respect and admiration for each other. We both have a great sense of humor. So we have a lot of fun,” Parton concluded.
Parton on How Her and Dean Keep Their Marriage Interesting
During a interview with PEOPLE in September, Parton also spoke about her marriage. She said the couple keep things interesting and still have date nights together. In addition, Dean still plans romantic gestures for his wife that he met when she was 18 before they married in 1966.
“We do! My husband and I, we’ve been together 56 years,” said Parton of Dean, a Nashville businessman. “We still have our little times, like in the springtime when the first yellow daffodils come out. Even if there’s still some snow around it, my husband always brings me a bouquet. And he’ll usually write me a little poem. Which to me, that’s priceless. That’s like a date in itself.”
Furthermore, the country icon spoke about another secret to her long-lasting marriage. Parton says she’s always been comfortable in her own skin. “And that’s sexy,” the singer said.
“You may not want to dress or look like me, you can take from that to be yourself. I’m a very passionate person in everything that I do, and I think passion has great sex appeal,” Parton explained. “I think people are drawn to that because it’s magic. It’s an energy. And I’ve always been a great lover because I’m passionate. I just feel my sensuality, my sexuality, my passion, and I don’t have to apologize for any of that. I’ve never been offensive in any way, never tried to be. Or I’ve never tried to be anything other than just what I am.”