I'm looking for a single word that describes the practice of "expressing a feeling/assessment by first denying that feeling/assessment". Here is an example of that practice: "I'm not saying you're wrong but there is no evidence to support your assertion". Or: "I'm not saying you're overweight but you could stand to lose a few pounds". Or, "I don't think I'm perfect but I rarely make mistakes". I've checked the thesaurus: "irony" is the closest fit, but isn't quite right.
I don't know what my wife truly meant when she uttered the _________: "I'm not saying I don't love you anymore, but I just feel that we need a trial separation ".