Dolly Parton’s secret to a long marriage: ‘We’re not in each other’s faces all the time’

Jolene isn’t taking Dolly Parton‘s man.

Yes, the queen of country music has a king and she has for more than 50 years. But while Parton is a worldwide icon, her husband Carl Dean is hardly recognizable. And that’s just fine with them.

“He does not want to be in the spotlight at all,” Parton told Entertainment Tonight. “That’s just not who he is. 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.”

She admitted that sometimes people don’t even believe he exists, but he does. They even remarried on their 50th anniversary. “Now he tells everybody I’m his second wife,” she joked.

So how does the couple maintain a successful marriage?

“Because I stay gone,” she said jokingly. “And there’s a lot of truth in that — the fact that we’re not in each other’s faces all the time.”

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She added that they have a lot of respect and admiration for each other – even with Dean not liking her award-winning collection of hits. 

“He’s not necessarily one of the biggest fans of my music,” Parton told “Good Morning Britain” last year. “He’s proud of me and he loves that I love what I do but … It’s a touchy subject. I’m like his little girl and he worries about that.”

Dean instead likes hard rock, he likes Led Zeppelin and bluegrass music, so “my music is somewhere in between,” she said.

As for Parton, she’s going to keep working 9 to 5 in the limelight and feeling the love from people of all walks of life. She spilled her secret to being well-liked to USA TODAY in an interview celebrating the “Women of the Century.”

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“I think that one of the things is because I love people, and I think they feel that, they sense that. I’ve been around a long time, and I grew up with humble beginnings. I think that people know that I’ve worked hard to get where I’m at and that I’ve stayed sane, for the most part,” she said.

Plus, she stays out of politics. 

“I don’t like to get involved in politics, because first of all, I have as many Republican fans as I do Democrats. I don’t want to offend anybody, I have a right to myself,” she told USA TODAY earlier this year, noting that she watches both Fox News and CNN for the entertainment value.

“I just watch it out of curiosity because it’s good television. Crazy, lunacy, but I just don’t get involved. I am not political, and I refuse to get caught up in political things.”

Parton just released a new Christmas album, “A Holly Dolly Christmas,” and her memoir “Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics” is expected to arrive this November.

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