"There’s a part that belongs to God and to me.”
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With decades spent in the limelight, it's a small miracle that Dolly Parton has managed to keep her personal life so tightly under wraps. This week, on the International Women's Day episode of The Kelleigh Bannen Show on Apple Music Country, the songstress revealed that it's not a miracle at all—it's the result of setting clear and intentional boundaries.   

Speaking with Bannen, Parton shared her longstanding reasons for keeping her relationship with husband Carl Dean private.  

"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.

For Parton, that something is her 55-year marriage to Dean.  

"I've known how to keep my husband private," the country legend explained. "It's just natural to me to protect the things and the people I love and to protect my own privacy."

WATCH: Dolly Parton Keeps Everything Fans Send Her

Despite her open-book persona, Parton said her faith instructs her not to share every part of her life with her legion of devoted fans.

Dolly Parton
Credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images

"There's a part that belongs to God and to me. 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," Parton continued.  "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."