Did your (ex-)wife flaunt this in your face or did you discover later than she had bad-mouthed you? Because if she was holding this over your head, you could have swallowed your pride and gone to your neighbors yourself, apologized for your (ex-)wife's involving them in your marital problems, and then assured them that you would in no way physically harm your wife (that you are all bark and no bite). If the neighbors could hear you yelling, then you were already involving them indirectly in your domestic disputes without their consent and disturbing their peace, btw. (FR, I'm sorry that you felt impugned, and that you were treated unfairly.)
Concerning the OP, those who do perpetrate domestic abuse give the rest of us a bad name. To tell you the truth, I still run into experienced kinksters who don't understand the concept of consent and look upon BDSM as a free-for-all; their conversation invariably involves a mucked-up perspective of how D/s dynamics actually work (that Dominants are supposed to impose their wills upon submissives, whose submission must be "forced" out of them instead of offered willingly). Without fully informed consent, akin to bioethical standards consisting of 3 distinct but interrelated elements (disclosure, capacity, voluntariness), the Dominant is no better than a sexual predator, a wife-beater, or an emasculating harpy.
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. - Lao Tzu
There is no remedy for love but to love more. - Thoreau