Bob complained about Judy’s talking to him from another room. Since his hearing was declining as he aged, he needed Judy to talk to him from the same room. When she spoke from another room, he was aggravated and responded sharply.
When Judy was talking from another room, they agreed Bob would shout “I love you!” This would be Judy’s cue that she was speaking from another room. Rather than their habitual pattern driving them apart, the new response would bring them closer—physically and emotionally.