Priscilla Presley Said It Was Extremely Hard To Relax Around Elvis Presley’s Constant Scrutiny

Years after their divorce, Priscilla Presley referred to Elvis Presley as the love of her life. Yet regardless of how much she adored the king of rock and roll, she admits in her memoir that he could be challenging at times.

Elvis had rigorous demands for Priscilla, and wanted her to live up to his expectations as an “ideal woman.” When she wasn’t meeting his standards, Elvis would scrutinize her.

Eventually, it became exhausting trying to live up to his impossible expectations. And because of Elvis’s frequent scrutiny over Priscilla, she admits that it was “hard to relax” while she was around her husband.

Elvis and Priscilla Presley with Tom Jones
Rock and roll singers Elvis Presley and Tom Jones pose for a portrait with Elvis’ wife Priscilla Beaulieu Presley in 1968 | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Priscilla Presley said that her feelings didn’t matter in her relationship with Elvis Presley

Priscilla admits in her 1985 memoir that she wasn’t allowed to express her feelings with Elvis. If she ever tried to be open with him, he would tell her that he had “enough on his own plate” to deal with, without having to listen to her problems.

RELATED: Priscilla Presley Says Elvis Presley Never Saw Her Without Makeup on

And because she wasn’t allowed to be honest with her husband, it took a significant toll on their relationship.

“He always avoided problems,” she wrote. “If I was disturbed or distressed, or if I felt we were becoming distant and wanted to get closer by talking it out, he avoided me or told me my timing was bad. There was never a good time.”

Priscilla Presley said it was very difficult to relax around Elvis Presley because of his constant scrutiny

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Elvis wanted Priscilla to be perfect and presentable at all times. If her nail polish was ever chipped or if she wasn’t wearing enough mascara, he’d make her go to her room and fix it. He said that he liked “a lot of makeup” on a woman, and he would have Priscilla wear a lot more than she was comfortable with.

If her posture were slumped, he’d straighten her back. If she had a crinkle on her brow, Elvis would “smooth it out.”

Eventually, trying to look perfect for Elvis all the time became an agonizing task for Priscilla.

“Elvis was my mentor,” she writes. “Someone who studied my every gesture, listened critically to my every utterance, and was generous, to a fault, with advice. When I did something that wasn’t to his liking, I was corrected. It is extremely difficult to relax under such scrutiny. Little escaped him. Little except the most salient fact of all- that I was a volcano about to erupt.”

Priscilla Presley says she didn’t even feel like a person with Elvis Presley

Priscilla Presley
Priscilla Presley | Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

In an interview with Barbara Walters, she says that she didn’t even feel like a person with Elvis, because her feelings were always overshadowed by his.

“There were times when I did not even feel like a person,” she confessed. “I mean, Elvis was always the concerned person. He was first and foremost, and no one cared about you. No one cared about your feelings, what you were going through, your sensitivities. That was never there. And now I feel like I’m a person.”