I Filed a Restraining Order Against the Narcissist…Now What?

Filing a restraining order against the Narcissist is often a necessary and unavoidable step in one’s road to independence.  The reason why is because many narcissists refuse to respect their target’s requests for no contact, wantonly opposing boundaries and exceeding limits with an alarming sense of entitlement.

Many targets of narcissistic abuse believe that when their abusive partner attempts to break the conditions of the restraining order that it’s out of love and genuine concern.  The reality is that narcissists believe they own their target.  Further, they don’t want to lose the “respect by association” that comes with being in a relationship with said target.  In my practice, I work with doctors, lawyers, therapists, business-owners, and others who are decent, conscientious, respectable, and attractive.  By all accounts, most narcissists are seven thousand leagues under the sea when compared to their targets.

And they know it.  (This knowledge is the fuel for the oft-ensuing smear campaign).

They cannot tolerate the thought of losing ownership of their “prized possession”.  Their God-like sense of power is seriously jeopardized when a target goes through the process of getting a restraining order.  This not only causes the disordered individual to become enraged at their target’s attempt at autonomy, they go on a mission to “make” their supply source accept them back into their life, in spite of possible legal repercussions.  Of course, because their target is a warm-hearted and forgiving individual, narcissists may not act out in aggressive ways because that wouldn’t be convincing.  So, the narcissist may pull out all the stops by delivering endearing comments, such as:

  • Why are you giving up on us?
  • No one will ever love you as much as I do.
  • How could you do this to our family?
  • I thought we vowed to stick together for better or for worse.
  • You know you’re the love of my life.

Alternately, when the narcissist is in rage mode, they may throw out hurtful accusations designed to make their target feel guilty, including:

  • I knew you never really loved me.
  • Everyone told me you would do this, but I didn’t want to believe it.
  • You act like a goody two-shoes, but you’re really an evil person.
  • You’ve been building up to this for months.
  • You just wanted me for my money (ironically, they are often epic cheapskates and swindlers)

If you’ve recently had to file a restraining order against your abusive partner, or are considering it, it’s crucial to understand that whether they appear to be heartbroken or try to make you feel guilty, it’s all manipulation designed to get you to break the restraining order and accept them back into your life, which in turn makes them feel God-like (and can also hurt you in court).  If you have a restraining order in place, you must follow through with the guidelines and call the police if they approach you.  Anything less will only result in making it harder to escape the abuse later on.

**These behaviors are not typical of the cerebral narcissist, whose favorite punishment is the silent treatment.  Cerebral narcissists typically disappear without a word.  Stalking and violating restraining orders are more typical of overt, malignant, aggressive narcissist types.

Why Do I Feel Like a Traitor?

It’s a long stretch for targets of narcissistic abuse to move forward with filing a restraining order against their abusive partner.  They feel overwhelming guilt, convincing themselves that an RO is way too harsh.  What they’re not considering is that the narcissist doesn’t hold the same sentiments.

The truth is that once the disordered person gets back in, they will resume their manipulative behaviors.  It’s for this very reason that victims who break the restraining order often have a period of self-loathing to work through…due to having been “had” once again.  But, more than that, detaching from the narcissist often triggers:

  • fear of abandonment
  • an overwhelming need for closure
  • trauma bond cravings
  • feelings of worthlessness due to internalizing the rejection and verbal abuse

These are the same reactions one experiences after initiating No Contact.  Instead of reaching out, thereby breaking the restraining order (or No Contact), it’s important to keep in mind that the temporary feelings of relief would soon be replaced with angst, self-reproach, and overwhelming regret.  As a substitute, understand that healing from this type of abuse often requires therapy, self-reflection, and active self-care. Maintaining a no-contact policy is vital to healing and recovery.

**If you are in a shared custody situation where No Contact is impossible, consider implementing the Gray Rock method of dealing with the disordered during modified/low contact.

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  1. Pingback: How to Do No Contact When You Share Kids - Let Me Reach with Kim Saeed

  2. Pingback: Increase Your Chances of Winning Against the Narcissist in Court in 7 Basic Steps - Let Me Reach with Kim Saeed

  3. Vesna

    Is it possible to file a restraining orderfor a malignant narc (my ex) and his cerebral narc, who has taken on the childrens financial dealings. I am afraid of sending the kids to them, because during Christmas holidays the children came back scared!

    1. Kim Saeed

      It would be hard to do unless you fear for your safety and/or that of your children. It might be worth getting your children into therapy, and then it might be revealed that visiting their father is detrimental to their well-being.

  4. My challenge with obtaining a restraining order are none other than my very own family ! At this time my Narc does not communicate with me directly he goes through third parties. It started with his family until they finally said NO MORE after they realized it had been almost 2 months since he had been gone, I had not contacted him for any reason at all and there was absolutely no reason for him to contact me. Suddenly, for whatever reasons that no one in my family can explain, they now all of a sudden want to be BFF’s with the same person who never had a kind word to say about any of them behind their backs. No matter what I say, how hard I have tried or how much “proof” I have provided, they INSIST” on still communicating with the NARC. My brother in law went as far as coming over to my house unannounced and helped him move all of his stuff out leaving me with absolutely nothing left (however I was so grateful he was getting out I really didn’t care) and just yesterday my step mother sends me some ridiculous message from him stating he wanted her to pass along that he would like his security deposit back since he did not renew his lease. I used to think she was a highly intelligent woman who should already know I am not the landlord. He would not have paid a rental security deposit to me and IF he was due a refund the person he would need to contact would be the landlord herself, not me and DEFINITELY not ANYONE in my family.

    When I explained this and asked her why she thought he didn’t contact me directly or the landlord she had no reply. When I explained to her AGAIN the reasons were he was not supposed to be contacting me or my family and I asked her AGAIN why all of a sudden was everyone in the family insisting on being Facebook friends and remaining in constant contact with a person that she, of all people, knew he did not speak very highly of because she had heard the arguments we had when I would defend the negative things he would say about my family. No reply but she didn’t miss a beat sending me a message from him.

    When his sister who is very supportive of me told me she saw on Facebook they had all become friends I contacted the Victim Witness Domestic Violence Advocates Office at that time and was advised if my family initiated the contact with him there was nothing they could do. It was legal if they chose to have a relationship and communicate with him. My father, youngest sister and daughters have not. It’s only my step mother, sister and brother in law. His own sister even has him blocked. The very sad thing in my situation is this is just how my family is. I am in counseling now and have already started to learn the reasons I was involved in unhealthy relationships stemmed from my childhood. This is even more obvious to me now. The best thing I can do at this point is try and distance myself as much as possible and show as little emotion and reaction to their insistence at being “friends” with the Narc. I am sure they are gaining great pleasure from knowing this is an issue for me and that is their motive behind it. I’ve done the best I can do by asking them to please support me and my daughters by helping us to enforce the NO CONTACT and if they chose not to then according to law enforcement there is nothing more I can do.

  5. Kim, can you address the flip side of the coin: A classic NPD who finds new supply and then files an RO against his former paramour/supply? Even when the old supply/”dumpee” has done no stalking or harassing at all?

    1. Frances

      When I discussed trying to obtain sole custody with my psychologist, she warned me that it was not a good idea because the NDP Parent can and will most likely convince the court that it is the other parent (non-NPD) who has the psychological issues. It amazes me what he gets away with and convinces others of. Sorry you’re going through this.

  6. Torn 2 Peaces

    Please read the blog I just posted. My daughter just turned 18 but my ex is trying to harass me (he tried to make me believe in his most recent emails that there was a warrant out for my arrest, he has also said “you will get what you’ve got coming” & he got my daughter to break into my home for him — he did not take anything, but nothing was done — & he torments me by teaching my daughter to hate and be abusive toward me) with lies about how much I owe him and will owe him for support. Can I do anything to get the judge to let me give him a lump sum and leave me alone? My daughter should not be having all these ER visits, but child protective services and the courts do nothing about neglecting and corrupting and exploiting a teen. I have PTSD — not from serving a year in a combat zone, but from his cruelty. It affects my life, my health. He will never stop. I don’t think I can take five more years of being forced to communicate with him. He WILL NOT follow the law — he is above it.

    1. HI Torn-

      My heart goes out to you for the pain that results as you watch helplessly while your relationship with your child is undermined. Unfortunately, character disordered parents are notoriously good at alienation.

      Your daughter is at a stage in life where her character is coming into its own. While kids live at home and rely on us for food, shelter, and everything else, we have far greater influence on how they behave. But once they are mobile and virtually independent, they can play one parent against the other, and our impact can easily be compromised.

      Caring parents set rules and boundaries for their children. It’s the heavy lifting that enables a child to grow into a responsible adult. Character disordered parents will malign all the unselfish sacrifice you’ve made to try to develop her character, and turn her against you.

      If you have any sway with her, at this point, it would be a good idea to sit down with her and a family therapist who is familiar with anti-social personality disorders. And, rather than being the focal point of negativity against her father, you could get a couple of books that identify the traits of psychopathy such as Robert Hare’s Book, or “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing.” She may also see how she’s being manipulated in “Just Like His Father.”

      It’s extremely important for you to be the source of nurturing and love at this juncture. Let go of the small everyday stuff of adolescence and focus on the big picture. Try to make time for the things you can do together. Does she like the movies, concerts, shopping? Sound like bribery? It is…… but it’s also a means to establish the quality time you need so you retain influence in her life. Be sure that you do not say negative things about her father while you have her attention. Let the therapist and the books do that. Let her know you’re always there to listen and support her. And instead of trying to counter his lies, simply say, “Things are not always what they seem. I’m sorry you’ve been put in the middle.”

      She will not be an adolescent forever.

      There may be nothing you can do to prevent her father from alienating her. Trading blows with him and trying to convince her of his faulty character, on your own, will not work.

      I wish you the best in retaining your relationship with your child.


      1. Torn 2 Peaces

        Thank you so much for your time & advice. Sadly, my daughter is completely alienated to the point of violent threats. I know other moms dealing with the same. My daughter is alienated from my mom, who she had a great relationship with, her brother, and even her dad’s mom. We have no influence, no contact, books I send are thrown in the garbage — & who knows what else. I spoke to her about Parental Alienation ONLY AFTER she became completely alienated. Now, of course, that is the excuse — another one against me — never mind her dad makes her cry, even though she has been medicated since moving in with him and his 5th wife. I try to put information and positive messages on my Facebook now, in case she reads. I heard that the last Hunger Games movie talks about brainwashing and fear — I know she’s a fan of those books, so maybe I could send her the movie for Christmas, though her dad would likely take credit for the present.

        1. Frances

          I am by no means an expert but my advice is to send nothing. This only makes you the target for negative comments or worse no response. Time will reveal to your daughter who her father really is. Regardless of how much time it takes, be there for her with open arms when she returns because she will return.

          1. Torn 2 Peaces

            Bless you =( I’m so worried… she’s had a lot of troubling behavior I’ve not been able to do anything about even though child protective services and the police say there’s a case, nothing is done. Thank goodness for the Internet offering a voice and guidance and therefore healing from people like you.

          2. Frances

            I am so trying to follow Kim’s advice right now. This has been the most difficult 3 years of my life. I have been so close to throwing in the towel but the comments on this site give me the strength and hope to change my life and my sons life.

            Even though right now your daughter is showing no or few characteristics she received from you; they are instilled in her. Her father is using her to hurt you. He eventually will treat her the same he has you which is when she will need you more than ever. This is why we must support each other to become stronger and to be able to reject harmful people in our lives and show others it is possible. If I don’t have this to believe I have nothing

          3. Torn 2 Peaces

            Thank you. I’ve been reading The Forgiveness Book A Fourfold Path.. by Desmond Tutu. It was so validating about pain, healing, and helpful with peace and health. Although it doesn’t specifically discuss Parental Alienation, it gives some horrid examples some have forgiven. I think it is a perfect book for alienated kids (on that reading level) and alienated parents. It’s so hard, but it would be an unwalkable journey for me, I think, if I didn’t meet so many supportive folks also dealing with this nightmare. Take good care & thank you so much for reaching out. My ex has hurt my daughter, but she’s so enmeshed, she defends him if a friend says anything about him.

  7. Kim, incredibly powerful reply! Thank you for all you do to assist people to get to better places in their lives.

    1. Kim Saeed

      Thank you so much for your encouraging words…and also for reading my blog. It’s truly an honor 🙂

  8. Anonymous

    I filed a restraining order on my husband (a high functioning narc) he was cerebral. Threatened to kill me– hated me. Became physically abusive & raging. Kept saying how could I do this to him .Do not know what this was all about. One At the time I attributed his behavior to his drinking. Did not know about NPD til he died. In fact I thought most of our problems were due to his drinking at the time— all the abuse & contempt. When confronted years later about him wanting to kill me he asked me when did that ever happen. ????? No recall/drunk/ or his reality ? In his sober moments he was the most self–controlled man I ever met. So easy going, calm, quiet, never raised his voice etc. Maybe that is why he blew—- the garbage compactor was full. Did not know how to deal with his anger/emotions. Unfortunately his addiction escalated and he was out of control nightly. He must of realized something about himself because he once said he needed 2 drinks just to feel normal. Any info on Npd/ alcoholism —— also used to think our sexless/ no intimacy in marriage was due to his drinking & his porn addiction. His alcoholism was bad enough but then finding out after his death about NPD I am reeling still.

    Anybody else deal with both issues ?? Also wondering why I was devalued ( rejected) after birth of my daughter/ sexually never to return. Hateful/ mean & loved saying NO to anything I ever asked of him. Amazing he stayed married for 38 years. Never threatened to leave— begged me to stay with him. Now that he is gone I have so many questions. I wonder why he never left. Have no reason to suspect any infidelity,, a lifetime of porn though. So sad. Brilliant surgeon but a real mess. Never knew what he had going for himself. Tall, dark, brilliant & handsome — he never got it. Also wondering if he abandoned me because jealous of baby (NPD), punishing me—-or it was an excuse —porn addict. Never sexually returned. I never got to say I have a headache—
    I understand sex is a powerful tool of control. Who does this!! Anyone else experience this ? Why ??? I did not get pregnant by myself. Was I punished?? He was avoidant & passive-aggressive also. Never conversed—- shut-down, or just ignored me. Thoughts anyone — same experiences ???

  9. Rodolfo Becerra

    Hi I have been helped so much by everybodys shared experience. But I couldnt stop noticing that every single person that went through the suffering of abuse each one in their own way all together show a pattern of hate towards the abuser or narcissist or sociopath however each wish to categorize their abuser. Not once have I heard any good qualities mentioned of the abuser from none. They had to have had some good quality. But none show any concerne to pray to God and intercede for them. They have an excuse for their actions. What does that make us? Better persons. What if that was a thorn allowed to be put on our flesh to keep us close to God. Or whpat if God used them as a chisle to sculpt since he uses the bad for the good for the people that love him. I know I can Thank God for alot of the bad times and himiliations i went through and suffering. Because that made me a better person and if it were not for her sometimes on my butt I stopped drinking I stopped doing things against God. She changed alot ofbad habbits on me she was a super person when she would want or let God guide her. She is better then some people that actually are in high positions in church. She sometimes was a better person them me. But what im trying to say is nobody has mentioned what does God think about them? I see soo much hate in the persons testimony and it is ok to be mad as long as we do not sin in anger. I consulted God when I met this beautiful young woman. I asked God to send a sign if she was going to be my wife for the rest of my life. He did send me a sign. He move a star from one side to another i ln a u form. I left her many times in 20yrs but God always tld me to go back due to the star. I myself in the beginning of the marriage was posesive and sociopathic according to everything I have read from a the beggining. In fact I am responsible for some of her actions. So to get to the bottom of this I would like to share this scripture if it allowed with all do respect. My intention os good and if i offend anybody I appoligize with all my hear.
    God tells us i this scripture that if we want to really do Gods work we are to do this. First of all we are to trust and obey God not man and God does not make a mistake.
    Luke 6:35 But love your enemies do good to them and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great and you will be children of the most high because he is kind to the ungreatful and wicked. I am sure many times all of us fell short and hurt them in one way or another many times. We provoked some of the problems we also caused them to one way or another react to our insults. I have hosen to pray to God for blessings and happiness for the person that I loved with all my heart it would make me happy that God put a new heart of flesh in place of the hardened one she had. Most important that she is saved because of the blood of Jesus spilled for her. How do we stand in the eyes of God destroying a name that he chose for them since before he created the universe he already knew them and a name is holy because God chose it. Teaching to be independent is against the teachings of God. He sends even the angles in pairs when Jesus sent the 70 to preach the word he sent them in pairs. He said because if one falls the other can help him get up. If one is attacked by a person bigger then him they both can dominate the one stronger together. I can mention many beautiful and good qualities she had and has. I am not justifying her actions but I honestly know that some marriages are salvageable and some person can be healed and change. I was healed and changed from being a sociopath and narcissist by God. Sadly I dont see any one in these testimonies ever giving other victims a chance to save their relationship not one chance. Immediately the get away mode seperation no contact. God does not teach that. Never have I seen anybody mention 7 × 70.


    1. Frances

      Maybe someone could address my question. I’m not certain where I conveyed such a negativity that was described. Anyone on this blog has im certain made more than a dozen attempts to make marriage work. I know I have. To this day I want nothing more than a happy nuclear family. But I had to accept reality and to hear this comment when it has been such a long road to get to this point is disturbing.

      1. Kim Saeed

        Frances, I will address this comment. I agree with your perspective. I’m sure you did everything within your power to save your marriage. I agree, it’s disturbing…the fact is, staying with an abuser is, in effect, enabling the abuse…

      2. Anonymous

        I totally agree. I’ve given my husband-my marriage-my hopes for companionship many chances. Then you become so lost in the vicious cycle.

    2. Kim Saeed

      Thank you for commenting, Luke, but I work with women and men who have stayed with an abuser because they thought that’s what God wanted, only for their spouse to continue abusing them, and sometimes send them to the hospital or worse. Narcissists have no interest in what God wants. Sadly, there are people who’ve wasted decades of their life waiting for their abuser to see the light, all to no avail.

      Thank you for trying to spread the Word, but honestly, if a woman or man stays with an abuser, they are essentially enabling their partner to sin, and that’s against God’s wishes. Better that they leave a sinning abuser and find a person who will love them the way God wants us to love one another. I don’t promote turning the other cheek when it comes to this type of abuse. By the time people come to me with their problems, they’ve already exhausted all possibilities in trying to make their marriage work.

      Narcissism is addressed in the Bible in Paul’s second pastoral epistle to Timothy (2 Timothy 3:1-7) in the fall of A.D.67. Paul is concerned about the character and behavior of leaders within the church, so he warns Timothy to beware of those who act out of a “self-love attitude”. He says, “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come. For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away.” Here Paul names many of the attributes associated (in psychology) today with the narcissistic personality we are all becoming so familiar with.

      Further, Narcissists do not respect any authority which endeavors to constrain them and make them accountable for their actions (including the Church); on the contrary, they prefer to live by their own flexible laws and rules of engagement where they are the “authority”. They dedicate their waking time to the constant pursuit of acquiring their own personal authority, and this can be achieved by any means available to them: through their immediate family, the workplace, friends, colleagues, peers etc. They demand total obedience and control over their dominion.

      I’m glad you experienced a positive outcome, but that simply is not what typically happens, and I have to say that while I’m glad for your outcome, what’s happened here is that you’ve judged your brothers and sisters without knowing their battle or struggles, nor what they’ve done to save their marriages.

    3. Sj

      It is a very long and hard road of abuse before you get to that point. They make your life so stressful that you feel like you can’t breathe. They break you. And when you try to leave, you don’t even know who you are anymore. You have to fight everyday to get yourself back. You realize all the “good qualities” we’re just a facade.

    4. Anonymous

      Thats because alot of the abusers we speak of DO NOT CHANGE. No matter how much we pray. At least I know that to be true with my ex narc.

    5. Anonymous

      Luke – I am a Christian woman who played on the worship team with the narcissist at our church. He gave false testimony to our pastor, myself. His family and friends, and our entire congregation the entire time. If you research narcissism, there is little hope for their transformation because that would require accountability and narcissists aren’t capable of accountability.

      The bible says that the only grounds for divorce are adultery and abuse – and many narcissists commit adultery and they are very abusive emotionally, spiritually, and physically. They have a spirit of narcissism and deceit and they must be delivered from this in order for their partners to even consider reconciliation. Usually they target partners who are loving, kind, and forgiving.

      So before you point your finger and assume that the people on this site are unforgiving people, think twice. We love hard and we loved the narcissist with all of our hearts at one point, many of is still do. However, abuse in any form is unacceptable and causes self harm and self injury. The isn’t to say that we can’t forgive, we should forgive but it’s a process. And just because we forgive, it doesn’t mean that we work it out with people who have abused us in the past. We can forgive and love from a distance.

    6. Anonymous

      No abuser is from God Your help and hope are getting away and never looking back and the blood of Jesus will make you your own person whom the lord wants you to be I will pray for you

    7. Sandi

      Dear Luke,
      Have you ever contemplated what a “sign” is and whether your interpretation (conscious or not) could be influenced by your desires, emotions, etc.? What if the “U” really meant God wanted you to be with YOU, and not continue the relationship.
      I’m glad that you feel you’ve made a positive change in yourself. I don’t think preaching religion is particularly helpful or appropriate here. What’s right isn’t defined by a book (even the Bible), but by each person’s beliefs and moral judgment, and every person has the right and obligation to figure this out in each situation and hopefully act in a way that doesn’t injure others. It’s not for me to tell you what you ‘should’ do either, and I hope you continue to heal and treat others with acceptance (not to say allowing anyone to hurt you either) and respect.

  10. Frances

    Can someone tell me legitimately legal grounds in California for filing restraining order? I discussed this with police and was told that unless my child or I was being physically abused, I could not obtain a restraining order. I am desperate for no contact. I am at the end of my rope and have nothing to stop him from coming and going as he pleases and disrupting my sons or my schedule.

    1. Heidi

      Frances, the police won’t arrest him if he hasn’t physically harmed you or your child[ren]. However, you can file a restraining order against verbal and emotional abuse. I just received my Permanent RO this morning for the very same thing. Just make sure you document everything and give details and how you fear for your life, because he is escalating.

      1. Tara

        heidi, might you be a little more specific. Im currently in the same situation and my attorney obviously doesnt understand narcissim and is telling me that i most likely wont get a final RO for verbal and emotional abuse.

  11. luckyotter

    Most of the time, a restraining order is the only thing that will keep them away from you. They’re not afraid of you, but they are afraid of the law!

  12. Hi, could you please email me an article you have written on cerebral narcissists? Thank you in advance!

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