Twenty married chronic pain patients (pain duration > 8 mo.) consecutively admitted to a pain management program were administered a taped structured interview designed to elucidate the responses of their spouses to pain behavior. Additionally, patients were required to report their pain levels in two different observational conditions: when observed by their spouse and when observed by a "neutral observer", the ward clerk. Those patients who reported that their spouses were relatively non-solicitous in responding to pain behavior reported significantly lower pain levels in the spouse-observing condition than in the neutral-observer condition. Patients who reported that their spouses were relatively solicitous in responding to pain behavior reported marginally higher levels of pain in the spouse-observing condition than in the neutral-observer condition.