Men who want to beat their wives need a ‘reason’. They need to be able to put it into words.
“Officer, my wife was …..”
Which sounds like a provocation which caused him to lose control.
It is said in such a way that it infers that the Abuser didn’t mean to beat his wife, but what she did made him temporarily insane.
The ‘reason’ given is a MacGuffin.
In fiction, a MacGuffin is a plot device Its importance to the plot is not itself, but its effect on the characters and their motivations.
Mock Jealousy is a MacGuffin. The effect is to give the Abuser a reason to beat the Victim.