In every marriage, disagreements come up from time to time. It can be healthy for spouses to let each other know when their husband or wife is doing something that they do not like. That way, the couple can find a resolution, instead of allowing the problem to fester.

But some couples fight in a destructive way that threatens the relationship itself. A recent article shared by presented four ways of arguing that could predict that a marriage in on the path to divorce.

1. Criticizing the person instead of the behavior. Implying that there is something fundamentally wrong about the spouse can cause him or her to become defensive. This involves using language like “you always,” “why are you always so,” and so on.

2. Expressing contempt for the spouse. This involves mockery, name-calling, hurtful sarcasm, and nonverbal communication like sneering or rolling your eyes at him or her. This could be considered psychological abuse, and may be the most destructive way to disagree with your spouse.

3. Being defensive all the time. A spouse who is always making excuses or saying “yes, but …” to all of his or her spouse’s concerns is not taking those concerns seriously or communicating consciously.

4. Finally, stonewalling or shutting down is not productive. Many people do so to avoid confrontation or stop from feeling overwhelmed during an argument, but to the other spouse this can appear smug, disapproving or emotionally disconnected.

Divorce is not always inevitable, but sometimes relationships grow too strained to fix. Once divorce is necessary, each spouse needs experienced legal help to preserve their rights and avoid procedural errors.