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Patrick Dempsey is Not Getting a Divorce

Patrick Dempsey is Not Getting a Divorce

There’s still hope when marriage is no longer “McDreamy.”


We hear about celebrity divorces all the time (just standing in line at the grocery store is all it takes to get the latest news). So it was quite refreshing to hear that instead of going through with their divorce proceedings, Patrick Dempsey, most famous for playing Dr. Derek Shepherd in Grey’s Anatomy, and his wife Jillian Fink are going to therapy and working through their differences.

“I wasn’t prepared to give up on her,” Dempsey said. "I didn't feel like we had done all the work. And we both wanted to do that work. That's where it started."

Fink had filed for divorce back in January 2015, and the couple had made a statement to the press about the pending dissolution of their 15-year marriage.

"Jill and I decided it was time to work on our issues and improve. We wanted to be role models for our kids like, okay, if you have differences, you can work them out," Dempsey told People magazine.

The actor decided to pull back from his passion for car racing in order to devote more time to his family. "You can only do one thing at a time and do it well," he said. "Our union has to be the priority. I wasn't prepared to give up on her and she wasn't either. We both wanted to fight for it."

While we can never know inner workings of another couple’s marriage, we can learn a few important things from the Dempseys.

1) No marriage is free from difficulties

There is no magic number of years of marriage that make a couple sheltered from relationship challenges. A relationship is like a garden; it needs constant attention. Going on date nights, making small gestures of appreciation, and improving communication are all things that can help keep a relationship in good condition.

2) There can be hope even after you feel like you want to throw in the towel

Sometimes it can just get so frustrating that it seems that starting over might be easier. But every marriage goes through ups and downs, and starting a new relationship will just bring a different set of challenges. Even though working on a damaged relationship can take time and patience, the reward of fixing up an existing relationship is huge. Divorce is the last recourse to take. First see if you can work on making your marriage stronger and more resilient.

3) Seeking outside help is crucial

Getting impartial, objective advice can be incredibly helpful, especially when emotions are running high. When we get sick, we go to a doctor. If our car needs work, we take it to a mechanic. Likewise, if our relationship needs fixing, going to a professional to get insights and guidance is a necessity.

4) Make your relationship a priority

Our lives are so busy, it’s easy to let our relationships coast along without much thought. Before spreading yourself too thin to make time for your spouse, keep your marriage in mind when making decisions. Even something as simple as dinner plans can be done with your spouse in mind. And when your spouse knows that your relationship takes priority, he or she will certainly appreciate it!

If your marriage requires more immediate assistance, download your free copy of Rabbi Slatkin’s new book, The 5 Step Action Plan to a Happy & Healthy Marriage or learn more about The 2 Day Private Marriage Restoration Retreat.

September 11, 2016

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The opinions expressed in the comment section are the personal views of the commenters. Comments are moderated, so please keep it civil.

Visitor Comments: 6

(5) Anonymous, September 14, 2016 2:56 AM

do the work

Dempsey put aside his passion for car racing to focus on his marriage. That's key. When a person continues to ignore the marriage and carry on as they always have, things are unlikely to change. Secondly, when one has car trouble, one can drop one's car off at the mechanic and return to find the problem fixed. Not so with therapy. A good therapist teaches clients techniques to use after they've left the office. If a person shows up to couple's counseling, looks at his shoes, and then disregards everything that went down in the session, maybe it's better to dissolve the marriage.

(4) Patrick Dempsey, September 13, 2016 9:05 PM

It Wasn't Me

I am always distracted by the idea that People can think they know you! I am cerain it wasn't me they were talking about?

(3) Anonymous, September 13, 2016 6:47 PM

My husband and I were having afternoon tea in a hotel in London in April when the Dempseys came and sat down across from us. They seemed very engaged with each other and happy to be together. What a lovely outcome.

(2) Anonymous, September 13, 2016 2:09 AM

Perhaps it was a Freudian slip, but it's telling that he said, "I didn't want to give up on her," instead of "I didn't want to give up on us."
The former assigns "blame" and sounds self-righteous; the latter recognizes the partnership.

Michael Hale, September 16, 2016 5:48 AM

Sorry, You're just preaching a point.

I think this guy is just trying to make a point. Point taken.
But his dichotomy is not supported in his language. There is no Freudian Slip. Freudians Slips require more than just some point to be made. How did he slip up? Are you saying that he didn't really want to fix the broken marriage? What's your clues on that? Do you know this man personally? Get my point?

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