Catherine Zeta-Jones discusses her marriage to Michael Douglas

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Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones have battled everything from a life-threatening throat cancer diagnosis to mental health struggles – but their love has endured. Now, 22 years on since the pair first said “I do”, Michael is celebrating his wife in a heartfelt Instagram post that saw some fans brand the pair their “favourite couple ever”.

“Happy Anniversary to my darling Catherine! I love you so much,” an adoring Michael told her in view of his one million followers.

He attached a photo montage of the pair, including a snap of them kissing while Catherine was wearing her wedding veil.

Michael, 78, and Catherine, 53, have dismissed the idea that age-gap relationships can’t last – and now that the pair’s romance has stood the test of time, they are in an excellent position to prove it.

“Historically, older men and younger women have been together,” she insisted.

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“When my mother was telling me about men and telling me the facts of life, she never actually put an age bracket on it.”

Catherine has her parents’ full support, as they “never question that there was a 25-year age difference”.

Meanwhile, in spite of being born 25 years apart, they do share one uncanny similarity – the same birthday.

Both were born on September 25 – and Michael addressed the coincidence in a heartwarming interview with ET Online.

‘The first time I ever met her I found out we had the same birthday and I told her, ‘I’m going to be the father of your children,'” he explained.

He also admitted he was wowed by the concept of his love interest being a keen golfer, despite it traditionally being a male sport.

“I melted right there,” he quipped, before continuing: “She looked straight into my eyes, and that was it.”

That’s not to say that the relationship has been without its ups and downs – including an embarrassing comment made by Michael that would become infamous.

When one Guardian journalist frankly asked him whether the onset of his throat cancer could have been caused by his penchant for smoking, he replied: “This particular cancer is caused by HPV (human papillomavirus), which actually comes about from cunnilingus.”

Meanwhile, Catherine was struggling to cope with the magnitude of her husband’s illness – and while he was declared cancer free months later, she was then admitted to a psychiatric unit.

She confirmed to the world that she was suffering with bipolar disorder, and had two spells in hospital, the latter in 2013.

Despite speculation that their relationship had been placed under strain, their union remained strong.

It was later rocked by unsubstantiated allegations of misconduct against Michael which surfaced during the #MeToo movement, but which he staunchly denied.

Despite initially being “profoundly devastated”, Catherine then stated that she trusted her husband completely.

“It’s a long road, and I think people today are so quick to throw in the towel on marriage. You have to give it your best shot and not give up when the first problem arises,” she told Good Housekeeping.

Her determined attitude paid off – and the pair’s legendary showbiz marriage remains strong to this day.

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