Dolly Parton’s marriage advice is as unique as she is.
“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.”
Dean is notoriously camera-shy, avoiding the star-studded events that Parton regularly attends. One might assume Parton’s busy schedule would be a source of tension in their marriage, but that’s not the case.
In fact, it might be one of their strengths. Parton told People, “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”
She went on to explain that one of the things that has helped them last as a couple is how they deal with the absences — and how they make the most of their time together:
“I travel a lot, but we really enjoy each other when we’re together and the little things we do.”
Parton says her first date with Dean was at a McDonald’s drive-through. When they’re together, they focus on maintaining a low-key lifestyle, choosing picnics in the country and local restaurants over glamorous date nights. She told People:
“We know a few little places we can go without being bothered. He only likes to go places where he can be comfortable!”
The country legend even had to wait 50 years to get her dream wedding. The couple eloped in 1966, unwilling to wait to get married.
It wasn’t until 2016 that Parton got to indulge her love for dressing up with a big, white vow renewal. 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.”
Parton says she usually tries to dress up for Dean because she doesn’t “believe in going home and being a slouch.” But she’s also grateful her husband doesn’t care about such things. She told People:
“He doesn’t care what I wear as long as I’m happy. He loves me the way I am.”
After so many years together, Parton and her husband are beyond letting little differences — like the fact that he doesn’t like her music — get between them. As Parton once told Today:
“I know every line in his face and he knows every hair in my wig. [He’s] not particularly [a fan of my songs], but he loves me. He loves me.”