On Grey’s Anatomy, Ellen Pompeo plays the strong female lead Meredith Grey, who has worked hard to be a doctor at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. And in the real world, her life is not that different. Like Meredith, Ellen has achieved mega success in her acting career — so much so that she can sometimes make her Hollywood colleagues feel intimidated.

“I never thought I’d be at the height of my career at 48 years old. I’m at the top of my game, with no end in sight,” Ellen said during Marie Claire’s recent women’s empowerment conference. And she credits all of her success to her husband, Chris Ivery, who has always supported her in her career. “My husband is not at all intimidated by my drive, or my bossiness. It’s really important for men to be on board,” Ellen added.

Ellen Pompeo and her husband Chris
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The actress and Chris, 51, have been married since 2007 and have three children together. Though the two have been happily hitched for quite some time, Ellen admitted that she still needs to work on her communication skills with Chris at home.

“I have a tendency to be a little bit bossy just because I’m juggling so many things,” she explained. “He’s really good about letting me know when I’m talking to him like an employee. Occasionally, I get told, ‘I don’t work for you, don’t speak to me like that,’ which is okay. I need to hear it if I’m not coming correct.”

Since they’ve been married for so long, Ellen has learned that women and men are “not built the same way, and we can’t expect them to be built like us.” She said, “You know that book, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus? I think that is the most accurate depiction that’s ever been published.”

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Ellen and Chris are so different from each other that she joked, “my husband can’t multitask.” Luckily, Ellen has hired all of the help that she needs to assist her at home. “That’s why I have an assistant, two nannies, and two housekeepers. I’m lucky enough to be able to afford all this stuff. I don’t ask him to do it because he’d have a f—king meltdown. The poor guy can only handle so much.”

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