While more researchers have begun to study the work-spouse relationship and made claims that it is unique, scholars have yet to specifically examine how, if at all, communication in the work-spouse relationship is different from that with other coworkers. Facework was used as a theoretical lens to analyze data from 41 in-depth interviews with work spouses. Findings highlight how participants presented themselves in unique ways within the work-spouse relationship, how work spouses (co)managed positive and negative face needs within the relationship, and the distinctive communication that serves as the basis for these work-spouse relationships. Finally, this relational context provides evidence for the complexity of Facework Theory in close, ongoing relationships, particularly in the blurring of preventive and corrective facework.
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