I believe it originated from Cockney rhyming slang. (Used in a small area of London)
If you've watched the movie Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, you will of no doubt heard some of it.
In Cokney Rhyming slang when men refer to their wife, they use the term "trouble and strife". So when translating for people who do not know what it means, they state: "the wife"
Also throughout England, people will refer to their wife as "the Mrs." and has nothing to do with rhyming slang.
"In the end people ARE AS THEY CHOOSE TO BE. It is no one else's fault but theirs. Just because you don't like the choices available does not abdicate the inherent responsibility for your choices." - meaty-btz