Credit: Richard Cartwright/ABC Television Group © 2011 Disney Photo: Meredith and Derek on Grey's Anatomy May 5, 2011: Callie and Arizona's Wedding

Ellen Pompeo (Meredith Grey) and real-life husband Chris Ivery seem to have no problem keeping the spark alive in their relationship. The relatively low-key couple is always photographed out, looking chic, affectionately enjoying date nights or outings with baby Stella Luna. But, after seven years of on-screen romance with her work husband, Patrick Dempsey (Derek Shepherd), how does Ellen keep the chemistry going for MerDer in front of the cameras? (Not that Patrick is terribly difficult to pretend to love...)

"I am so incredibly lucky to have Patrick, to have the chemistry that we do," Ellen gushed to Good Morning America. "We have an amazing relationship, and it's like any other relationship, you have your ups and downs. But we work it out, and we've found a way to do this for this long and still get along, and make it work and believe in what we're doing."

She dedicates a big part of their acting success to the support the couple receives from the outside world between takes. "The cast and the fans are everything," she praises. "We would be nowhere without the fans and without the other cast members."

Meredith and Derek are doing a stellar job of standing by each other through the hostile uterus situation slash out-of-nowhere adoption plan, and Ellen credits her work to her female fans, who bravely share their own difficulties getting pregnant with her. It's for them, she says, that she wants to portray Meredith as humanly as possible.

"I want to fight for the storyline truthfully, because, a lot of times on Grey's, we want to wrap things up in a neat little package, or a not-so-realistic package," she confesses. Luckily, Ellen isn't afraid to stand up to the writers: "I fight for this storyline to be realistic, to be genuine, and to be something of a ray of hope for women. I'm trying very hard, and I don't always win my fights, but the women who have approached me, they've been on my mind."

So, tampering with the Alzheimer's trial results? Maybe not so realistic. The hellish emotional toil of failing to get pregnant and subsequently trudging through the adoption process? Ellen is determined to portray that in all its messy, weepy, complicated glory, which we think is awesome. Hats off to you, Ellen!

Source: ABC