Steven Grainger, 32, battered mother-of-two Simone over the head with the pan before strangling her, jurors were told.
The court heard how the childhood sweethearts argued frequently and she felt her life was mirroring the plot of Doctor Foster, the hit BBC1 drama about a GP’s turbulent relationship with her husband.
Reading Crown Court was told the couple had sex hours before the alleged attack after friends left the house and their children went to bed.
Grainger admits killing her but denies murder, claiming he was acting in self-defence as his 30-year-old wife came at him with a pair of scissors.
Her body was found the next day wrapped in a blanket in the kitchen.
Text messages sent by Grainger, a technician, were read to the court detailing how he attempted to buy drugs and talk to prostitutes just after his wife’s death.
Prosecutor Francis FitzGibbon QC said: ‘He hit her on the head more than once with a hard object, causing serious injury and he then went on to strangle her.
‘Simone died of head injuries and due to being strangled. The defendant admits that he killed her but we say he murdered her and intended to or, at the very least, intended to cause her serious bodily harm.