Although she lives her life in the spotlight, Dolly Parton makes a conscious effort to keep most of her relationship with husband Carl Dean under wraps. So much so, that some have even speculated that he doesn’t actually exist.
“A lot of people have thought that through the years, because he does not want to be in the spotlight at all,” she previously told Entertainment Tonight in response to those questioning the validity of her relationship. “It’s just not who he is. He’s, like, a quiet, reserved person and he figured if he ever got out there in that, he’d never get a minute’s peace and he’s right about that.”
Dolly recently joined The Kelleigh Bannen Show as a guest on Apple Music Country to share how she maintains the boundaries she’s set for herself and Dean, based on some past advice from her mom.
“I learned early on. And I think my mama told me when I was young, ‘Always keep something back for you. You can give what you’ve got to give, but don’t give it all away. Always keep something for you,’” she said.
The queen of Country music met her husband back in 1964 when she first moved to Nashville. At the time, she came to music city to pursue her dreams. She achieved this goal, to say the least, and along the way she also fell in love with Dean. It only took two years of knowing each other before the couple knew they were ready to tie the knot.
As she has risen in stardom and he chose to keep his life out of the public eye as much as possible. Nevertheless, their love has flourished. In 2016, they celebrated 50 years of marriage, where Dean released a heartfelt statement about his bride.
“My first thought was, ‘I’m gonna marry that girl,’” he recalled “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.”
The 76-year-old singer-songwriter explained that it’s become “natural” to keep the privacy throughout relationship. In the long run, this has served to be beneficial for both of them.
“I’ve known how to keep my husband private. It’s just natural to me to protect the things and the people I love and to protect my own privacy,” she shared.
“There’s a part that belongs to God and to me,” she continued. “It’s a sacred place that just is mine and God’s, and I’ve known how to do that because I think God has directed that. I pray that also that God will give me enough to share and enough to spare when it comes to my money but also to myself. Let me share everything I can but let me keep me.”
The “9 to 5” singer has shared glimpses into their love through photos on social media. Most recently, she shared a throwback photo for Valentine’s Day of her and her hubby who was kissing her on the cheek.
“Happy Valentine’s Day y’all!” she wrote in the caption. “Remember to squeeze your loved ones a little tighter today and tell them you love ’em!”
This isn’t she first time she’s shared photos from her marriage, but they are few and far between to maintain her best-kept secret.