The five stages of marriage, including one most couples never achieve

Marriage expert and creator of divorcebusting.com, Michele Weiner-Davis, and her husband, Jim, recently celebrated their 38th anniversary. Since Weiner-Davis is an expert, one might assume being married for almost four decades would be easy.

"Expert or not, marriage is hard work," she says. "At times, you consider quitting. Creating a lasting marriage is a humbling experience. It is part skill, part luck, elbow grease and blind determination. "

Having devoted her life to helping couples, Weiner-Davis knows that all marriages go through stages and predictable crises.

"All couples experience hills and valleys, yet predictable transitional periods are often misunderstood, causing over-reactions," she says. "Those who weather these universal stormy periods usually end up with greater love and commitment to their spouses."

There are five predictable stages most marriages experience: The first is typically filled with passion.