Crossword Genius

Life with former partner is strained we hear (9)

Ross

I believe the answer is:

existence

'life' is the definition.
(I've seen this before)

'former partner is strained we hear' is the wordplay.
'former partner' becomes 'ex' (an ex-partner).
'strained' becomes 'tense' (similar in meaning).
'we hear' shows a homophone (sound like).
'tense' sounds like 'tence'.
'ex'+'is'+'tence'='EXISTENCE'

'with' is the link.

(Other definitions for existence that I've seen before include "A way of living" , "Way of life" , "State of being" , "The business of being" , "survival" .)

I've seen this clue in The Independent.
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