Dolly Parton reveals how she's kept her marriage strong for 56 years

There really is no one-size-fits-all secret to a lasting marriage as every relationship is different of course. For some it could be prioritising intimacy, for others it could be everyday acts of kindness and others could simply see their partner as their best friend.

For Dolly Parton, however, she credits the longevity of her 56-year marriage to Carl Dean to the pair’s “warped sense of humour”.

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“We both have a warped sense of humour. And I think humour, honestly, is one of the best things when you’re married like that,” the singer, 76, told ET Canada.

Close up image of singer Dolly Parton. (Getty Images)
Dolly Parton says a 'warped sense of humour' has been key to her and Carl Dean's long-lasting marriage. (Getty Images)

“Even if you have a problem, if you have a great sense of humour, if you say something you can’t take back [you] usually have some crazy way of getting out of it.”

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Parton married Dean, 80, in 1966 in an intimate ceremony in Ringgold, Georgia with only her mother, the preacher and his wife as witnesses.

The pair first met when Parton was just 18 years old and he was 21, on the first day she moved to Nashville. They met outside the Wishy Washy Laundromat in the Music City.

Parton later said that it was Dean that approached her. "I was surprised and delighted that while he talked to me, he looked at my face (a rare thing for me)," she explained. "He seemed to be genuinely interested in finding out who I was and what I was about."

The Jolene singer also credits Dean “not being in the business” as to how their marriage has lasted almost six decades.

“I like it when people say, ‘How did it last so long?’ I say, ‘I stay going,'” Parton said, adding: “You know, there’s a lot to be said about that. So we’re not in each other’s face all the time. He’s not in the business, so we have different interests, but yet we have the things we love to do together.

Dolly Parton was only 18 when she met her husband, whom she's still blissfully happy with. (Getty Images)
Dolly Parton was only 18 when she met her husband, whom she's still blissfully happy with. (Getty Images)

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“So it was meant to be, I think. He was the one I was supposed to have and vice versa.”

For their 50th wedding anniversary in 2016, the pair renewed their vows in a private ceremony in Nashville.

“If I had it to do all over, I'd do it all over again, and we did,” Parton told ET at the time. “I'm dragging him kicking and screaming into the next 50 years. Wish us luck.”