Today Trish and I celebrate 31 years of marriage. It’s a good time to celebrate an enduring marriage, our love for one another, and so many wonderful blessings.

Words can’t quite convey how much I love her, but I’ll make the attempt anyway.

We may may have known each other for just 38 days before I proposed, and married 10 months after our first encounter, but it has been a very successful partnership. Quite what she saw in me baffles me to this day, but I’m so glad she looked beyond my face.

God knows I’m far from perfect. I can be lazy and forgetful; my knowledge of DIY could fit on a postage stamp; my sense of direction when driving gives her palpitations. She’s outgoing while I’m more reserved. She finds my jokes funny – eh, sometimes.

I’m a non-drinker, while Trish likes the odd glass of Malbec. However, my abstemiousness has its advantages as I’m always available for chauffeur duties. We both love reading and dining out, and our passion for travel has seen us fly all over Europe, and to the US and Canada.

However, our 25th wedding anniversary trip to China – with a cruise to Japan and South Korea – is our favourite trip. In fairness, we wouldn’t have got there had Trish not paid for it. She’s a generous soul!

We’ve had good days and bad like most couples. The good were brilliant, the bad pretty awful. The life and death of our son Alan were the most painful 22 months we have ever endured, but we got through it. I’ve written about it before so you can read it if you missed it. Really, your problems are very minor compared to the loss of your child.

We have two lovely kids, now no longer running around the house, but living abroad and leading successful careers. It’s lovely to watch them from afar, and revel in their achievements, but finally Trish has me all to herself!

Trish and I always talk decisions through together, and whether they’re right or wrong, we don’t blame each other. We talked about me leaving the Irish Examiner and what that might entail, and Trish supported me financially and emotionally in the months that followed. What a trooper, because I couldn’t have done it without her.

This year I was lucky enough to find a job with, a fantastic project management software company here in Cork. It’s funny because the startup believes and breathes teamwork, and Trish and I always see ourselves as a team: if one of us is feeling down, the other does the lifting. It’s that support that has got us through so much and has helped build a fabulous relationship.

I don’t tell her often enough that I love her, but I do, even when she gives out to me.  I’d just like to say Trish is a very special person and the love of my life.