“She’s Young Enough That I Can Train Her Any Way I Want.” The True Story of Elvis and Priscilla Presley
When Elvis and Priscilla first met, she was only 14 years old, while he was 24. The girl’s parents were worried about their relationship, but Priscilla was in love and rebellious, and nothing and no one could keep her from being with the King of Rock and Roll. For Elvis, their age difference was not a problem at all: it was a good chance for him to mold Priscilla into an ideal wife. This was going to be a perfect marriage, but there was something their relationship couldn’t survive.
Here at Bright Side we took a peek behind the curtain of Elvis and Priscilla’s relationship, and here’s how the story played out.
Elvis and Priscilla met in Germany in 1959. Elvis was sent there by the U.S. Army where he then served, and Priscilla’s family came to the country because her father was transferred there by the Air Force. Someone invited Priscilla to visit Elvis at his home, and she happily agreed. She captured the singer’s attention, and he played a couple of songs especially for her, even though she confessed she was a 9th grader.
“I saw Elvis trying to get my attention. I noticed that the less response I showed, the more he began singing just for me. I couldn’t believe that Elvis Presley was trying to impress me,” recollects Priscilla.
Priscilla did not believe that Elvis was ever going to call her back and she was sure that their first date was going to be their last one. But he did call her back. After a couple of days Priscilla’s parents insisted that meeting their daughter’s crush in person was necessary. Priscilla recollects that Elvis came all dressed up in his uniform, which her father loved. The men had a long talk, and eventually, Priscilla’s parents were so charmed by Elvis that they let the 2 continue to see each other.
Priscilla was a very beautiful young girl who received a lot of looks from the boys at school. She remembers that, once, a picture of her wearing tight sweater was stolen from the bulletin board at school. Priscilla’s young age meant that she and Elvis were not supposed to show up in public together, but the 2 kept seeing each other.
Elvis liked it that Priscilla was inexperienced and young, and their age gap was not a problem for him. He saw it as his chance to mold the perfect wife for himself. He once told his friend: “She’s young enough that I can train her any way I want.”
Priscilla recollects that Elvis shared his idea with her of a perfect woman and his desire to turn Priscilla into one. “On nights when his mood was calm and peaceful, he would describe his ideal woman and tell me how perfectly I fit this image. He liked soft-spoken brunettes with blue eyes. He wanted to mold me into his opinions and preferences. Fidelity was very important to him, especially on the woman’s part.”
Marriage and family life
In 1960, Elvis left Germany, while Priscilla and her family stayed. The 2 would occasionally see each other when he asked her to come to the USA, and this continued for several years before they finally got married. Priscilla remembers those years as a “suspended animation” where she would wait for Elvis’s infrequent calls and count the days to their next meeting. She also heard a lot of gossip about his love affairs with other women, ranging from the girl next door to celebrities.
Elvis proposed in 1966, and the 2 got married in Las Vegas on May 1, 1967. Elvis felt pressured to marry because he was afraid of a potential scandal that could take place if he didn’t. He continued to change his wife to fully meet his expectations. Priscilla, who later called herself “Elvis’s living doll” put porcelain caps on her teeth, improved her posture, dyed her hair black, and put it in an updo to match the image of the King.
On February 1, 1968, Priscilla gave birth to their daughter, Lisa Marie. After Priscilla became a mother, she felt that Elvis lost his interest in her. Just like before their marriage, he kept having love affairs with other women, and Priscilla kept finding love letters addressed to her husband. As time went by, she realized that she was not willing to put up with that and just wait around for him at home.
“My life was his life. He had to be happy. My problems were secondary. I want to grow. I want to do things,” she said in one of her interviews. She got tired of the pressure of living up to her husband’s expectations. She admits that she never appeared before his eyes without makeup and never got dressed in front of him: “He wanted to see the end result.”
Divorce and the King’s decline
In 1972, Priscilla told Elvis she was leaving him, and soon the 2 divorced and shared custody of their daughter. While the single Priscilla blossomed and tried to finally gain control of her own life, Elvis became addicted to prescription drugs and was having financial difficulties. He had several love affairs after his marriage with Priscilla was over, and proposed to Ginger Alden.
Their marriage, however, was not meant to be. On August 16, 1977 Elvis was found dead. He was 42. Priscilla was devastated when she learned Elvis was gone, and she just couldn’t believe it. She had hoped that Elvis would’ve checked into a hospital to hide from the public eye, stay alone for a while, and come back later. “It was shocking. Like to the world, only a million times more,” she confessed.
Despite the divorce and tense marriage, Priscilla and Elvis remained close. She remembers how he used to call her to share his worries, and how she cherished every call. After the divorce, Priscilla launched her career as an actress and a business woman. She never got married again, but she did have a long relationship in which she gave birth to her son, Navarone.
She opened the house in Graceland to tourists so that she could have the opportunity to pay taxes and bills, without selling the house where she and Elvis lived together as a family. Graceland has become the second most visited home in the USA ,after the White House. Priscilla faithfully keeps the good memories of her ex-husband alive, takes part in events devoted to his music, and still calls him “the love of her life.”
How do you feel after reading Elvis and Priscilla’s love story? What do you think about relationships in which one partner tries to “mold” the other one according to their preferences?