Eloped At 18, Dolly Parton Explains Her “Secret” To A Long Marriage: “Stay Gone”
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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…
“I’ve been married for 53 years come next May, and my husband and I have a great relationship,” says the star, 72. “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.
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.”
Back in 1966, these two eloped because her record label had made it clear they preferred her to stay unwed, but she wasn’t going to wait and still wanted to keep her record deal upon moving to Nashville.
Just a few years ago, on their 50th anniversary, these two finally had the big beautiful ceremony they’d always dreamed of – and they renewed their vows.
“I never really felt like I had the wedding that we really wanted,” she says. “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.”
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,” Parton told the publication with a giggle. “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.”
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 talk about her 50th anniversary below along with a slideshow of pictures with them!