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Some women are naturally bossy. Some of us have major alpha personalities. We like to feel in control. That plus an instinctive knack for “nurturing” sometimes creates romantic atomic bombs and, instead being the wife or girlfriend our man needs, we are more like screaming cockatiels—like his mother, telling him what to do, when to do it, how to do it and why your way is best.

Few women are purposely evil, so your behavior has likely gone unnoticed during your weekly self-reflections. That’s where this post comes into play. It’s time to assess whether or not you’re mothering your man:

He says, “I don’t need another mother.”

From the mouth the heart speaks. Your man means what he says. So don’t just hear him but listen when he tells you you’re treating him like a child.

He no longer challenges your methods and ideology.

If your man follows your directions and commands like a dog, he’s checked out. And, if you don’t start respecting him as an adult, he’s going to check-in with a woman that does. Contrast and a bit of conflict are natural components of healthy relationships. Unlike childhood governance, adult relationships are democracies. Don’t force-feed your idiosyncrasies to the point that he loses himself trying to keep you happy.

He’s newly indecisive.

He’s fine at work but stupid kicks in as soon as he walks through the door. The man is so used to you deciding who, when, what and why that he has lost touch with making decisions in the relationship. Step down from your throne for a minute and give him the final say on where you are eating dinner—regularly and happily, without attitude. He would rather give in than listen to your “nothing’s wrong” deep breaths.

He has come to expect to be waited on hand and foot.

Plain and simple: he has begun acting like one of your children—voluntarily. Your overbearingness no longer upsets him or infringes upon his manhood. He doesn’t help with the dishes, laundry, kids, grocery shopping, cleaning or maintenance. He has completely reverted to boyhood because mother wife always knows best.

He works late every night.

Your man will do anything to keep from coming home, because he dreads dealing with you. And, I don’t mean he’s necessarily with other women, either. He could be grabbing a few of the beers you won’t allow him to bring in the house at a bar. Or he could be sitting in the Waffle House parking lot playing Angry Birds, a game you claim rots his brain.

You give more gab than sex.

Believe it or not, nagging is a leading cause of breakups and divorce. No man wants a nagging girlfriend or wife, period. He doesn’t want to be around you for constant criticism. He wants to be physically loved and psychologically respected. Advice for women who nag: less chatter, more sex.

You’re suffocating him.

Remember how annoying it was in elementary school when you were playing outside and had to check-in with your parents every 15 to 20 minutes? Or, in high school, when you asked to spend the night at a friend’s and your mom performed an entire police investigation? Well, that is how your grown, (I’m assuming) bill-paying man feels when you interrogate him. Trust he has enough sense to make smart decisions. And, if you have to question his capability to do so, is the relationship really worth the time and energy you’re investing?

LaShaun Williams is a Madame Noire contributor and blogger whose work has appeared in the New York Times and across several popular sites, such as HuffPost Black Voices and the Grio.  You can visit her blog at or follow her on Twitter @itsmelashaun and Facebook.

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