After Divorce Scare, Jillian and Patrick Dempsey Celebrate 18th Anniversary
Patrick Dempsey marriage, Jillian
Credit: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images    

Patrick Dempsey

After Divorce Scare, Jillian and Patrick Dempsey Celebrate 18th Anniversary

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Patrick Dempsey’s love life these days would make, like, the most boring Shondaland TV show ever.

The Grey’s Anatomy alum and his wife, Jillian, are back in love… and back from the brink of divorce.

In fact, they’re celebrating their 18th wedding anniversary, as Jillian revealed in a sweet Instagram post…

If you had asked us two years ago, we would not have been so upbeat about Patrick and Jillian. In January 2015, their marriage had reached “code blue” status.

Jillian filed for divorce that month, citing “irreconcilable differences.”

And that was hardly the only turmoil in Patrick’s life…

Patrick Dempsey divorce, Jillian Dempsey
Credit: Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Marie Claire    

Around the same time, the actor was nowhere to be seen on Grey’s Anatomy.

He had signed a two-year contract renewal with Grey’s in 2014, but he was absent for six episodes in a row that season.

Storywise, Dr. Derek Shepherd was working in Washington D.C. for that timeframe, but behind the scenes, Grey’s boss Shonda Rhimes had reportedly suspended Patrick for “diva” behavior.

Derek eventually returned to the show only to be killed off five episodes later. Was Patrick fired, or did he ask to be written off the show? Depends whom you ask.

Patrick was preoccupied with racing cars at the time, and between that and Grey’s, something had to give.

So he pumped the brakes on both pursuits. He’s no longer employed full-time on a TV show, of course, but he has also scaled back on his racing career.

“You can only do one thing at a time and do it well,” he told People in 2016.

“I [learned] to prioritize. Our union has to be the priority.”

“Our marriage was not something I was prepared to let go of,” the Maine native continued.

“I didn’t feel like we had done all the work. And we both wanted to do that work. That’s where it started …

“I wasn’t prepared to give up on her and she wasn’t either. We both wanted to fight for it.”

Patrick Dempsey, wife Jillian Dempsey
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We all waited for the other shoe to drop in 2015 — for Patrick and Jillian to finalize their divorce — but the end never came.

Instead, we witnessed signs of hope, then a miraculous relationship resurrection — with romantic walks in Paris, beach days with their kids at St. Barts, family outings at Hollywood premieres, and even reports that they were renewing their vows and considering adopting a child.

And yesterday, July 31, the loving couple celebrated 18 (happily consecutive) years of marriage.

“Happy 18th anniversary, @patrickdempsey ❤️!” wrote Jillian, a Hollywood makeup artist.

“Through thick and thin… I love you ~wifey.”

Happy 18th anniversary @patrickdempsey ! Through thick and thin....I love you~ wifey

A post shared by Jillian Dempsey (@jilliandempsey) on

So what can we learn from Patrick and Jillian’s second shot of love?

“You’ve got to keep at it,” he told People in that 2016 interview.

“You’ve got to communicate, and stay open and not get lazy. And not give up. And lots of sex!

Out of the mouths of TV babes…