Style & ShowbizShowbiz

Patrick Dempsey's reunion secrets

Patrick Dempsey's reunion secrets

Patrick Dempsey credits communication and "lots of sex" for getting his marriage back on track.

The 'Bridget Jones's Baby' actor announced in January 2015 that he and wife Jillian were separating after 15 years, but they called off their plans to divorce after working hard to repair their union and have learned what it takes to keep their relationship strong.

He said: "You've got to keep at it. You've got to communicate, and stay open and not get lazy. And not give up. And lots of sex!"

The 50-year-old star - who has daughter Talula, 14 and twin sons Darby and Sullivan, eight, with Jillian - admits he wasn't "prepared" to end his marriage and was determined to do what he could to get things back on track.

He told People magazine: "Our marriage was not something I was prepared to let go of.

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

Patrick agreed to curb his passion for car racing to focus on his marriage and thinks it was important to make their relationship his main priority.

He said: "You can only do one thing at a time and do it well.

"I [learned] to prioritise. 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."

The former 'Grey's Anatomy' star and his make-up artist spouse sought therapy so they could "improve" and set a good example to their children.

He explained: "Everybody has their own path. 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."

But Patrick admits the idea of his marriage ending was "scary".

He added: "It's always destabilising when you're potentially breaking up a family or you have a big section of your life that's ending."