“I give up”.
That’s what does it for me. When my patience has come to an end regarding a particular situation and I mutter these words, I can literally feel my husband respond. The only other words that will elicit such a reaction from him would be “you can go fishing if you want”.
You see it takes a lot to get me down, to make me want to throw in the proverbial towel and walk away for an hour or two. I came to realise that these words are a trigger phrase. They are uttered by me so rarely that when they are spoken it demands a response.
In my case, my husband comes swooping in to lend a hand, give me a hug, or in the most recent case to take the offending child, because lets face it is most often because of a child, away from my evil penetrating gaze.
It has also dawned on me that I have only ever used it when my husband is around. I guess he is the fail safe, so that even when I am grumpy and relinquishing my responsibilities (momentarily) he is there to step in.
The best bit about our unspoken understanding; it gives me more strength to give up less often. Just knowing that there is that fail safe is empowering.
What about you, do you have a trigger phrase or a saying that makes your partner sit up and notice?