Dolly Parton shares the secret to her long-lasting marriage

ABC/Lou RoccoDolly Parton has been happily married to Carl Thomas Dean for 52 years now, and she shares her advice for a lasting marriage in a cover story in the latest issue of People. Dolly says time away has made their relationship stronger.

“I always joke and laugh when people ask me what’s the key to my long marriage and lasting love,” Dolly says. “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.”

When they are together, the couple make sure to spend quality time with each other. They frequently take mini trips in their "little camper" and have picnic lunches in Tennessee.

“When I met my husband, he wanted to take me out to dinner. He pulled up to the drive-in window and got our food at McDonald’s,” Dolly recalls. “We know a few little places we can go without being bothered. He only likes to go places where he can be comfortable!”

The couple celebrated their 50th anniversary two years ago by renewing their vows. Since they eloped 52 years ago, Dolly said she always wanted to get all dressed up and have a proper wedding.

As she reflects on her life, she admits she used to wonder what things would be like when she was older.  How does she feel now?

“I believe that everyone should be able to love who they love how they love. Love is love,” Dolly says. “When I was younger, I used to wonder what my life would be like when I was older. I always wanted to do something to touch people, and I am grateful that I’ve seen my dreams come true.”

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