Why Does My Boyfriend Try to Make Me Mad on Purpose?

Figuring out why he purposely makes you mad can be maddening.
... Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

Relationships are exciting and fun, except for those times when your boyfriend seems to deliberately try to make you mad. It can come out of the blue. He makes an insensitive remark and your feelings are hurt. The next thing you know, you're seething and he's acting as though nothing happened. Understanding some of the reasons guys act the way they do can help you know how to change your own behavior to stop this negative pattern.

1 Seeking Conflict to Feel Better

Has your boyfriend been diagnosed with ADHD -- attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder? Individuals with ADHD seek stimulation to calm themselves. Exactly why stimulation is calming to individuals with ADHD is not yet clear, but scientists and therapists have recognized the phenomenon for decades. If your boyfriend seems to be in a better mood after he makes you mad, he may not have a problem with you -- he could just be trying to make himself feel better.

2 He May Want Space

Close relationships are complicated. It can be tricky to maintain personal independence and be part of a couple. Sometimes, in close relationships, one or both partners begin to feel that they are losing themselves as they spend less time on their personal interests and more time in the relationship. This is further complicated during the teen years and early adulthood, when you are just beginning to know yourself and discover who you really are. Starting fights or doing things to make you mad can be your boyfriend's way of getting some space emotionally. If you notice he has a pattern of making you mad whenever you begin to feel really close to each other, emotional distancing could be the reason for his behavior, according to Dr. Susan Ricketson.

3 He Speaks a Different Language

Males and females not only look different but think differently too. Females, in general, are better at picking up on subtle cues during conversation. Girls notice body language, tone of voice and facial expressions while communicating. Guys are less empathetic and less likely to get the real meaning behind your words. To a female in a relationship, it can sometimes feel as though he just doesn't care or he is trying to push your buttons. The fact may be that he really just doesn't get it because he has a male brain, which isn't bad -- just different.

4 Because He Can

Although both men and women enjoy challenging activities, men still dominate in the more physically aggressive sports, such as football and boxing. If your boyfriend is verbally aggressive while being competitive or confrontational, he may be treating you the same way he treats his male friends. The fact that you get mad may not seem so serious to him. He may even get a sense of pleasure from the knowledge that he can make you angry. So, if you want him to stop, stop reacting. Remember, it takes two to tango.

For Judy Kilpatrick, gardening is the best mental health therapy of all. Combining her interests in both of these fields, Kilpatrick is a professional flower grower and a practicing, licensed mental health therapist. A graduate of East Carolina University, Kilpatrick writes for national and regional publications.