Jillian and Patrick Dempsey
01/11/2007 AT 08:00 AM EST
He may play the field as Dr. McDreamy on the ABC hit Grey's Anatomy
, but Patrick Dempsey has a steady domestic life.
"Fatherhood is the most important thing. Everything else is a joke," he tells Life magazine
in its new issue, about being at home with his wife Jillian, a makeup artist, and the couple's 4-year-old daughter, Talula. They are also expecting twin sons this winter.
"Now," says Dempsey, who turns 41 on Saturday, "making money is about providing for my children. And being a father makes you look at yourself. You look at your marriage and go 'How do I improve this? How do I keep growing and create a stable environment for my children?' "
One way, he reveals, is to go to couples therapy. "Yeah, we go in for checkups and go 'Hey, here's what we need to work on,' " he says. "We've had a very good relationship from the beginning, but you run into things you have to work through."
He also adds that therapy "is easier than fighting with someone."
There are also some remedies that he delivers at home. "Reading to my daughter has been therapeutic," says Dempsey, who is dyslexic. "I've gone back and started to learn to read on a very basic level. I'm reading Dr. Seuss, and I'm healing that part of myself, as well as developing my daughter."