Michael Ausiello
November 13, 2009 AT 04:50 PM EST

With new mom Ellen Pompeo firmly entrenched back at Grey’s Anatomy, the show is moving Derek and Meredith back where they belong: front and center. That’s the good news. Here comes the bad…

“They will face some relationship challenges, many of them work-oriented, in the second half of the season,” reveals exec producer Shonda Rhimes.

The Queen of Shondaland, however, insists that this latest obstacle will not result in the newly married-via-Post-It pair breaking up — a rumor that has been making the rounds on the Internets (and stirring Der-Mer fans into a veritable frenzy). “I don’t know how many times [I] can say, ‘Derek and Meredith are together forever’ and have anybody hear it,” she sighs. “I can only reassure so much.

“In order to [produce] a drama you need to have some drama,” Rhimes adds with a laugh. “Whether or not two people are meant for one another doesn’t mean that things aren’t going to happen to challenge their relationship.”

Makes sense to me! What say you, ‘shippers? Are you cool with Mer-Der encountering a few bumps en route to their inevitable happy ending? Or would you prefer that they stay boring happy? And did you hear Shonda this time re: the whole “not breaking up” thing? Sound off below!

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