That's what we call it when we want to lay the ground work with the wife for getting out on a ride- "planting the seed". You can't just come out and say you are going on a ride. It's a process. And it usually starts a couple days in advance. The idea needs time to be nurtured.
After 13 years of marriage, I'm sure my wife has figured out my tactics by now but she still plays along. I tend to test the waters with some probing questions and get a better feel for the situation before I drop the question. Usually I begin with a very general question like- "Do we have anything going on after work today?", or "Have you seen what the weather is going to do this week?". I'll give her about 5 minutes or so before I start with the next round. Round two is usually several statements. Such as- "Jamie got a new set of tires. He was going to go test them out on Wed". or "I heard they finally opened Clarks for the season".
I'm fortunate that a lot of my riding buddies are either family or their wives are good friends with my wife. If I can prove that Dug, Eric, or Rob are coming along or that Jamie, Tony or Jon already got approval from their wife to ride, it helps.
The entire process can take several days but if you are good at it, obtaining a hall pass for a ride can be done within the same day and sometimes even over the phone.