August 14, 2014 at 05:51 PM EDT

Could Mer and Der be on the road to a huge breakup?

When we left the couple in the last Grey’s Anatomy finale, Meredith finally stood up for herself, telling Derek that she doesn’t want to move to Washington, D.C.—where he had been offered a full-time position by POTUS. (Not Scandal’s Fitz, but we can still dream!)

And in season 11—being dubbed “The Year of Meredith”—the stalwart doc will no longer take a backseat to her husband’s career, which may cause strife in their relationship. However, executive producer Shonda Rhimes promises that this doesn’t mean the end of everyone’s favorite McCouple.

“I don’t think that it’s a marriage-ending argument,” Rhimes tells EW. “It feels very TV for people’s marriages to end over easy things or hard things. I actually would like to watch a couple have a hard time in their marriage, and have it not be that that means their marriage is over. There’s something really great about watching a couple have a mature marriage where stuff goes wrong, things are hard, and people try to push through it and figure it out.”

That being said, expect to find Meredith and Derek in a rough place when season 11 kicks off next month. “When we left them, they were fighting. When we come back, they’re still fighting,” Rhimes says. “I like that they’re having this argument. It feels like an argument that two hard-working people have who love each other and who each have powerful careers.”

Grey’s Anatomy returns Sept. 25 at 8 p.m. on ABC.

Meredith. Alex. Bailey. Arizona. The doctors are definitely in on Shonda Rhimes’ hospital melodrama.
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