Patrick Dempsey left popular TV show to win back his wife, and never looked back

He was among the most well-known doctors in the world for 11 seasons, but in 2015, he left his position as Dr. Derek Shepherd behind, breaking the hearts of many people.

At the time, nobody knew that Patrick had taken this choice out of love. The majority of his time was spent at work, and he realized that setting his family’s needs ahead of his career was the only way to win back his wife, Jillian Fink. After calling off their separation, Patrick and Jillian patched things up and have remained together for the past 23 years.

Patrick Dempsey scheduled an appointment at the beauty salon called Delux in Los Angeles in 1994. Jillian Fink, the owner and stylist of the salon, assumed it was a joke because one of the staff members liked to pull practical jokes on others. Fink recalled “All the people he had written in were names of celebrities famous in the ’80s, like Molly Ringwald,”

The actor, who was 28 at the time, was already somewhat well-known thanks to his parts in Can’t Buy Me Love and Loverboy, among other films.

The stylist was shocked when the actor opened the door. “I was shocked. But at the same time, I was happy because he was so cute,” Jillian said years later.

It was a complicated scenario because he was divorcing Rocky Parker, an actress 26 years his senior and she was in a relationship.

Dempsey kept going back to the salon for a while. He said that “It took another three years of occasional haircuts and harmless banter.” He claimed years later that “she was always flirting,” but Jillian argued that this was a lie.

After Patrick’s divorce in 1997, one of his friends informed the actor that Jillian had ended things, so he made the decision to phone her. The actor made pasta for her at his place on their first date. They were married two years later, in 1999.

On a farm in Maine that belonged to the actor’s family, the pair married quietly. According to the bride’s sister and business partner Kristen Mason, “He saw her and started crying.”

Following their marriage, both of their careers flourished. After selling her Delux salon in 1998, Jillian started producing her own cosmetics. With the help of her friend Drew Barrymore, she made a lipstick for the Charlie’s Angels movie shoot in 2000, which marked an important milestone for her.

Patrick, who had been experiencing a decline in his career and popularity for a few years, had a comeback in the year 2000 thanks to his portrayal of detective Mark Kincaid in the third installment of the horror series Scream.

They had their twins Sullivan and Darby in 2007 after welcoming Talula, their oldest daughter, in 2002. A few years ago, when discussing his job as a father, Patrick said “I’m constantly amazed by their insight and their observations. It’s fascinating and fun to come up with answers to their questions.”

Despite their close relationship, the couple began to have some problems as time went on. Dempsey didn’t seem to have much time for his family. In addition to continuing his acting career as one of the main characters of Grey’s Anatomy, the actor began racing cars professionally in 2004.

Jillian filed for divorce in 2015 when Dempsey was in Daytona Beach for a 24-hour race. Their twins were about to turn eight at the time, and their oldest daughter was twelve. According to the couple’s official statement, “It is with careful consideration and mutual respect that we have decided to end our marriage,”

Despite the rumors, they went to couples counseling in the months that followed the announcement to try to patch their relationship back together “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.” They canceled their divorce in 2016 and reconciled.

For the actor to get his wife back, he had to make a drastic choice. He quit his role as Derek Shepherd in Grey’s Anatomy in 2015, which devastated thousands of fans. He also ceased racing cars and solely serves as the team’s owner.

Therapy helped Dempsey realize the value of spending time with his wife, kids, and family and that they should come first in his life. “I became frustrated with the lack of quality of experience in my life. I wanted to get to that deeper level and not just skirt the surface.”

They eventually made up, but they never stopped attempting to mend their relationship “You’ve got to communicate, stay open, and not get lazy,” said the actor.

Since then, Jillian and Patrick occasionally share sweet messages on social media for their birthdays or anniversaries. A particularly lovely one was in August 2018 when they posted a picture of themselves kissing in the same site where they were married with the caption, “This spot 19 years ago, today.”