To the outside world I present myself as very confident and well spoken. I have often been elected to positions of leadership in different clubs and activities, though I really don't like acting in that capacity. As a rule I am very polite and try to show basic respect for all people I meet. I don't act like a doormat or a shy wallflower etc.
I might act submissive with a man but if I know or sense that he doesn't require it, then I lose respect for him. I will then see myself as the stronger more dominant partner and almost feel a sense of contempt (sometimes an outright sense of contempt if he is really putting up with too much). So if you tolerated the nagging and other things without dealing with them at the time - you were sending her the message that you accepted them for whatever reason.
There was a scene in the movie "The Secretary" that captured this facet of submissiveness to the letter - the one where she was in bed with her boyfriend and setting the terms - she was in control, telling him what he could do and couldn't do, and you could sense her contempt for him.