Getting served with a restraining order is a very serious and unpleasant event in one's life—especially if you're not expecting it. The experience can be shocking, frightening, and humiliating, not to mention highly disruptive to your life. It may require you to move out of your own house, change your routine, and possibly even affect your custody rights.
But every life event can teach us something, and that includes getting hit with a restraining order. So, what can you learn from the experience—and more importantly, how can you grow and change, so history doesn't repeat itself? Let's look at some key lessons to be learned.
You don't have to physically hurt someone to be seen as a threat.
Maybe you made physical contact with your spouse or partner; maybe you didn't. Maybe you just had a heated exchange of words, and that's what made the restraining order so unexpected. The point is, you don't have to physically injure a person for them to consider you a danger; you just have to make them believe they are in danger. The restraining order happened because you said or did something that made the other person feel unsafe—and a judge agreed with them. You need to figure out what that is and change it.
It's time to address the underlying issues.
A restraining order is usually a wake-up call—a sign that there are unresolved issues in your relationship and likely within yourself. Perhaps these issues should have been addressed before things became so heated and deteriorated to the point where your partner felt it necessary to get a restraining order. Perhaps these issues should have been addressed long ago. Whatever the case, if you don't want a repeat of this moment, it's time to do some soul searching.
You cannot control what other people do or say; you can only control how you react to it.
There are things out of your control—and this is one of them. You cannot stop someone from filing a restraining order against you if they choose to. You can only take steps to prevent it or minimize the chances of it happening again. As to whatever event may have prompted the restraining order—it probably happened because you reacted badly to something that was said or done. The key to avoiding a repeat is to learn to react a different way.
Your past does not define your future.
What's done is done. It happened. No amount of beating yourself up about it will change anything. Nor does the shame of this moment have any bearing on what the future holds. The future is in your hands. Whatever you may have done to cause this problem, or whoever may have been at fault... it doesn't matter now. What matters is what you will do going forward. The best way to reshape your future is by learning from this moment, not reliving it.
If you've been served with a restraining order, Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm can help you minimize the damage it could do to your life. Call 888-535-3686 to learn more about how we can help.