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A life full of pain or suffering. It's a shame that some men treat marriage and family life like a living death. If I ever lost my independence due to injury or illness, it would be a living death. I don't like relying on other people.
a living death
If someone's life is described as a living death, their quality of life is extremely poor. For nearly four years he has lain in a coma, trapped in what one doctor described as a `living death'. To be betrayed as you were betrayed is a living death.