This is as close as he got, when Carly said yes, he was abusive, and produced the receipts with "faithless whore," "worthless," etc.:
"I want you to hear my side. I have a temper, a bad temper, and you've seen the worst of it, and I have yelled at you, screamed at you, called you names. I'll even take it a step further--I might have grabbed you at some point, but you by no means were innocent. You lied to me, you cheated on me, right? And you even set me up with the Feds. [...] I'm just saying, it takes two to tango. We were equals, and you weren't the helpless type. How many times did you deliberately do something, knowing it was going to hurt me and set me off? [...] You deliberately provoked me, and then you gave as good as you got. [...] I never saw you cowering on the floor, sobbing, beaten. Because that's what I see as abuse. That's what my mother and I went through for years."
So he makes it all about the specifics of his relationship with a woman, instead of identifying his own pattern, and everything's in the shadow of his idealized mother figure who suffered "real" abuse. If he can tell himself he's better than Deke, he can live with himself. It was an interesting story, psychologically, but they were only going to go so far with it.