This is heartbreaking.

Dolly Parton has just revealed she once considered suicide back in the early 1980s after an emotional love affair left her heartbroken. At that time, the country music star was married to husband Carl Dean and the two — who are still together today! — will celebrate their 51st wedding anniversary later this month.

dolly parton getty images

Dolly in the 1980s.

In her new book, Dolly on Dolly, Interviews and Encounters with Dolly Parton, the 71-year-old opens up about the couple’s open relationship, and admits to indiscretions of her own. “I grew up around macho men and have had my lovers that are that macho type,” she revealed. “I’m kinda drawn to that.” She also admits one “affair of the heart, which “just about killed [her].”

MORE: Dolly Parton Opens up About Her Tumultuous Childhood — See What She Revealed

Fortunately, Dolly’s little Boston Terrier, Popeye, saved her life. “I was sitting upstairs in my bedroom one afternoon when I noticed in the nightstand drawer my gun that I keep for burglars. I looked at it a long time. Then, just as I picked it up, just to hold it and look at it for a moment, our little dog, Popeye, came running up the stairs,” she revealed.

“The tap-tap-tap of his paws jolted me back to reality I suddenly froze. I put the gun down. Then I prayed. I kinda believe Popeye was a spiritual messenger from God,” Dolly confessed. “I don’t think I’d have done it, killed myself, but I can’t say for sure. Now that I’ve gone through that terrible moment, I can certainly understand the possibilities even for someone solid like me if the pain gets bad enough.”

MORE: Dolly Parton’s Sister Stella Shares Never-Before-Revealed Details of the Country Star’s 50-Year Marriage

To this day, Dolly and Carl don’t talk about their love affairs. “I don’t get jealous. It never crosses my mind. And if [Carl] does something, I never want to know,” she said. “There’s no way
in heaven’s name that I could ever leave Carl.”

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