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For years, Dolly Parton’s husband, Carl Dean, dealt with rumors of her infidelity. Tabloids reported on her alleged affairs with co-stars and even she discussed her flirtatious relationships with other celebrities. It never bothered Dean, though. Parton said he seldom got jealous, to the point where he was happy to wave her off on a romantic trip with another man.

Dolly Parton’s husband had no problems with her taking a trip with another man

While working on the album Trio with Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt, Parton became good friends with a man named Bob Hunka. The pair clicked right away.

“We just took to each other,” Parton wrote in her book Dolly: My Life and Other Unfinished Business. “We had the same views on God, religion, and life. Odd as it may seem, we are soul mates, not lovers, but just warm, wonderful friends. Some of the most rewarding spiritual journeys I have ever been on were taken with Bob.”

Dolly Parton wears a yellow dress and holds a microphone.
Dolly Parton | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

When Hunka got engaged, he and Parton decided to take “one last trip” together. Parton bought them tickets to go to Europe for two weeks. She said her husband was happy to see her go, as he didn’t enjoy going on vacations like that.

“Well, there were Carl and Bob’s fiancée, waving goodbye as Bob and I took off on an incredibly romantic adventure,” she wrote. “Carl would never do anything like that with me. He’s not into candlelit dinners and fine wine. He’s not about to eat anything he can’t see, and he doesn’t drink at all. He wouldn’t deprive me of it, though. He’d rather that I be with a man, because he feels like I’m more protected from a safety standpoint than I would be with another woman. Whatever baggage Bob and I took with us, guilt was no part of it.”

Dolly Parton said her husband rarely got jealous

Parton and Dean are secure in their marriage; according to her, he rarely gets jealous. She even said that he hardly blinks when people talk to him about rumors of her affairs.

“Carl has had various people and even family members approach him to say I was having an affair with this or that person,” Parton wrote. “Carl would simply say, ‘Well, I would think less of any man that didn’t fall in love with her.’ And he means it. He seems to have an understanding of how I am and how people are toward me. He seems to know that I’ll be back, and that love affairs and relationships are just part of my dealings with people.”

She said he knows that no matter what people say, she will always put him first.

“He knows that I will always come home. And as long as I live, we’ll always be together,” she wrote. “That’s all that matters to him. And he’s right.”

He likes her to spend time with her manager too

Dean also encouraged Parton to foster a close relationship with her manager, Sandy Gallin. He was gay, so there wasn’t any romantic competition between him and Dean, but he and Parton had a very loving relationship

Dolly Parton and Sandy Gallin sit at a table together. They both wear black.
Dolly Parton and Sandy Gallin | Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

“I know we will always be there to pull each other out of any storm in life, and that gives me great comfort,” he wrote. “Carl is not the least bit threatened by my relationship with Sandy; in fact he is very grateful for it because he knows I am loved and taken care of when I am not with him.”