'Grey's Anatomy' Star Patrick Dempsey Nearly Got Divorced From His Wife After 20 Years

Sarah Kester
ck Dempsey (R) and Jillian Fink arrive for the world premiere of "Bridget Jones's Baby" at Odeon Leicester Square on September 5, 2016 in London, England.
Getty | Dave J Hogan

Patrick Dempsey and Jillian Fink have been married for over 23 years. 

However, things haven’t always been “McDreamy.” At one point, the pair even filed for divorce, bringing their long marriage to an end — or so it seemed. 

The couple found their way back to one another, proving to the world that love is complicated but worth fighting for. 

The ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ star met hairstylist, Jillian Fink, in 1994. 

Patrick and Jillian kissing
instagram | @patrickdempsey

It all started when the actor booked a haircut at her hair salon. At first, she figured it was another joke by her prankster employee.

“All the people he had written in were names of celebrities famous in the ’80s, like Molly Ringwald,” she told People. 

But then Dempsey, the heartthrob behind roles like ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ and ‘Sweet Home Alabama,’ actually showed up. 

Jillian fussing with Patrick's hair
instagram | @patrickdempsey

"I was shocked [when he came in for an appointment] but at the same time, I was happy because he was so cute,” Jillian recalled. 

After three years of haircuts and developing a bond, the actor learned that she was single and asked her out. 

Patrick Dempsey in 'Grey's
Giphy |

When they married in 1999, it wasn’t Dempsey’s first trip down the aisle. When he was 21, he got married to his best friend’s mom — yes, really. 

Rochelle “Rocky” Parker was an acting coach, manager, and also 27 years older than Dempsey when they got married in 1987 when he was 21.

hands clasped together over a bouquet of flowers at a wedding
Unsplash | Drew Coffman

When their age gap inevitably became an issue for the pair, they divorced six years later. 

“I got a lot out of it; it made me a much better man,” he once said in an interview with 'People'.

"People wind up going through two different cycles in their lives.”

His second marriage to Fink was much more successful.

They got married in 1999 and went on to have three children, daughter Tallulah and twin sons Darby and Sullivan.

They were together while both of their careers took off, with Dempsey finding massive success on Grey's Anatomy and other films, and Fink nabbing big celebrity clients.

Their busy lives soon led to divorce.

Patrick Dempsey crying
Giphy | ABC Network

In January 2015, Fink filed for divorce, citing “irreconcilable differences.” A statement by the couple read, “It is with careful consideration and mutual respect that we have decided to end our marriage. Our primary concern remains the wellbeing of our children, and we ask with profound gratitude that you respect our family’s privacy at this very sensitive time.” 

“[The split] was a long time coming,” sources told 'People.'

Patrick taking a selfie
instagram | @patrickdempsey

"They were never going to make it work, but they tried.” With Patrick's star power rising, the couple reportedly struggled with not being able to spend that much time together.

But in a twist of fate, the couple reconciled.

Patrick, his wife, and his daughter
instagram | @patrickdempsey

By the end of that year, they were photographed looking in love and holding hands in Paris.

Sacrifices clearly had to be made to make their marriage with, starting with Dempsey leaving Grey's.

“You have to work at everything. And you cannot do everything. Something has to be sacrificed," he told the 'Evening Standard' in 2016.

Patrick and Jillian when they were younger
instagram | @patrickdempsey

He also cut back his time at the race track, which was a huge passion of his.

Patrick also revealed the sweetest reason for calling off the divorce.

Patrick fixing bowtie
Giphy |

“Our marriage was not something I was prepared to let go of,” he told People. “I didn’t feel like we had done all the work. And we both wanted to do that work. That’s where it started.

Love that!