Skip to main content

What’s a drama without a few unhealthy couples? Grey’s Anatomy is a master of it, and has more than one. For the early seasons, that was Meredith Grey and Derek Shepherd. 

They were the perfect couple on paper. They looked great together, were the best in their field, and had undeniable chemistry. Fans on Reddit were fed up with the way Shepherd spoke to Grey, however, and weren’t afraid to point out specific incidents when Shepherd crossed the line.

The perfect ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ couple?

There was no question that Shepherd and Grey cared about each other. The way they looked at each other across the operating table, their awkward meetings in the elevator, and passing in the halls were all electric. The fights were even more so.

Fans quickly fell in love with the couple that earned the nickname ‘MerDer’ and were rooting for them. When Shepherd’s wife Addison Montgomery showed up, it only made fans root for MerDer harder. They weren’t that healthy of a couple, though.

The ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ relationship had a lot of issues

There were problems with Shepherd and Grey from the get go. She was an intern, and he was an attending. This was a major problem, as she could have gotten in a lot of trouble for dating her boss. It also made her look bad when Shepherd picked her for surgeries, and everyone immediately assumed it was due to her relationship with him rather than her obvious talent.

That was something which would fade with time, however. Grey was not destined to forever remain an intern. She would probably become an attending on her own.

There were other issues that weren’t so obvious at first. When Montgomery showed up, it became obvious that Shepherd didn’t have the best communication skills. He also had no problem with hiding major secrets from Grey if it suited him to keep quiet about it.

Shepherd later showed how jealous he was when Mark Sloan showed up, and began to flirt with Grey. Even though she was no longer dating Shepherd, he didn’t want her to see other people, and became verbally abusive when she did. 

Fans were sick of the way Shepherd spoke to Grey

Patrick Dempsey (Derek) and Ellen Pompeo (Meredith) on 'Grey's Anatomy'
Patrick Dempsey (Derek) and Ellen Pompeo (Meredith) | Scott Garfield/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)

‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Meredith Grey Was Originally Supposed to End up With Another Doctor, Not Derek Shepherd

The one thing fans couldn’t stand about MerDer was the way he spoke to her. There were plenty of swoon worthy moments when Shepherd said the perfect things, but then there were other moments when he revealed a side that was both cruel and hateful.

Many fans couldn’t understand why Grey put up with it. The only explanation was that Shepherd didn’t do it on a regular basis. On the other hand, when he was in a bad mood and decided to lash out at her, Shepherd knew exactly what to say to hurt her most.

One fan started the discussion on Reddit by writing, “I know its the show and the drama but if a man called me a wh*re that would be the end of it. She defended herself. The next thing she said to him was I hate hating you, I love you. The man had no respect for you, and that’s where the line was crossed.”

Another fan stated, “Honestly, never liked him. He was an egomaniac and was overall a jerk.”

Not all fans were totally against the relationship, in spite of the problems. Some were quick to point out that Shepherd had his own trauma that he was dealing with. Others were less than pleased with how he spoke to her, but stated that she choose to forgive him, and there are much worse couples out there.

One fan is definitely not a MerDer fan, however. They stated, “Merder is toxic, has always been toxic and I will die on this hill.”

It wasn’t all bad, however. There were plenty of moments when Shepherd could be incredibly sweet. He could look at Grey, and know exactly what was wrong. He also saved her life on a few occasions, like when he dived in the water after Meredith drowned in the third season. Shepherd might not always live up to his nickname, but it’s definitely well-earned.