35 People Who Had Everything Going For Them But Took Life-Ruining Decisions

Published 2 months ago

8 billion people live on this Earth and all of them are trying to do the right thing for themselves. However, humans are fallible and people make mistakes that have the potential to wreck lives in mere moments. When life is full of choices all the time, the probabilities are higher that it could have even happened to someone you know. Someone who may have taken some decision in their lives that ended up hurting others or ruining their own lives.

It certainly seemed to spark a sense of relatability for many Redditors when No_Potential6463 posted online asking folks to share similar recollections of when they witnessed someone’s actions end up with sad or severe consequences. 

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#1

Image source: Apprehensive-Roll767, Rene Asmussen/Pexels (not the actual photo)

Mom had an affair and abandoned our family for said affair partner when I was a baby. Thought the grass was greener. Turns out the guy she left for was a raging alcoholic who just never could clean up. Pawned her jewelry for booze after he lost his job, hired escorts, the works. Put my mom through hell. Ended up dying of liver failure and my mom is alone now. I think the guilt and shame has caught up to her. I’m not angry anymore. She made a mistake, but it has been one of the biggest lessons in my life. My dad has never spoken one bad word of her in my 35 years of life. He’s incredible and I’m thankful everyday he raised my brother and I.

#2 That guy who ate a slug on a dare, got paralyzed and then died some years after.

Image source: TheAmazingDuckOfDoom, Dustin Moore/Pexels (not the actual photo)

#3

Image source: miz_mantis, cottonbro studio/Pexels (not the actual photo)

A patient of mine when I was a student nurse. 19 years old, male, dove head first into unfamiliar body of water. Instant C3-C4 quadraplegic. I was assigned to him for an entire rotation on the rehab floor. His girlfriend came every evening for a few days, then skipped a day, then skipped a couple, then didn’t come again the rest of the time I was assigned to him. He was heartbroken, but she was younger than him and she looked very upset and scared whenever she was there. We had to clean him up after bowel movements (sometimes needed an enema to even have one). One day we were cleaning him, holding him over on his side so we could do it, and he broke down sobbing. It was so terrible. Over the years I’ve wondered what happened to him. Wish I had made a note of his name so I could have followed up.

#4 My roommate in the army got drunk and damaged a door in the barracks. He got an article 15 which is basically a fine. He refused it and got sent to jail for a month or two. In jail, he took a swing at an officer. He got sent to federal prison.

Image source: NBQuade, Lukas/Pexels (not the actual photo)

I lost track of him at that point.

If he’d simply signed the article 15, he’d have lost $150 but been fine afterwards.

Never saw someone f**k their life up that quickly before or since.

#5 Dude I worked with decided to tell a racist joke to a very high up admin, who was also a black woman, and her lawyer. Fired, bye career

Image source: PolkaOn45, Christina Morillo/Pexels (not the actual photo)

#6 A friend became a manager where she worked, so her work friend became her employee. Dude was older than her by like 15 years and obsessed with her, but she had no idea. She was a friend of his family, an auntie to his kids, she would have brunch with his wife regularly.

At one point, he got his hands on her keys while she was working and he had a copy made of her house key. He waited years for the opportunity to break into her house when she was away on holiday and he was seen by a neighbour, who called her.

He went from married with a happy family and a steady, government job to divorced and unemployed, he lost his house and custody of his kids in the divorce and now lives in a one bedroom apartment in another town.

Image source: sylvandread

#7

Image source: Square-Raspberry560, Mikhail Nilov/Pexels (not the actual photo)

A well-respected pastor in my town got caught having an affair. He had a wife and 2 kids. Wife left him, girlfriend left him, wife got the house in the divorce, he lost his job and only sees his kids twice a month. It’s all completely his own fault and I don’t necessarily feel bad for him, but man, you have never seen a more broken shell of a person. When he’s not with his kids the little time he gets with them, he stays holed up in his apartment, doing the work from home job he managed to get. He keeps completely to himself, barely goes out, is super quiet when he has to be out, and looks really rough. He’s like a ghost just floating around. The few friends who go and check on him every once in a while say that his kids are probably the only reason he’s still alive

#8

Image source: Unyielding_Cactus, Alex Blokstra/Pexels (not the actual photo)

Back when I was delivering pizzas in a fairly nice area, some kid put six rounds of .380 auto in my chest to steal my camero. Later found out this kid had a full ride at UF, straight A student, from a very wealthy family. Just started rolling with a bad crowd I guess. Got caught when he brought the car home, and the next morning it went out on the news. His own dad turned him in. Aside from some wicked scars, I made a full recovery.

#9 Pound a bottle of Jack. Hop in car with girlfriend. Drive 100 mph. Hit tree. K**l girlfriend. Breathe through tube for rest of life. Quadriplegic. He was 16 at the time.

Image source: BoxZestyclose6616, Tobi/Pexels (not the actual photo)

#10 Narcissist/ egotistical brother-in-law disrespected my mother-in-law and wife (fiancée back then), claimed he was better than everyone else and that his friends were his only true supporters/ family. Moved out of their apartment to “launch his band” and “get out of the s****y and ghetto city” he grew up in. He’s homeless now in the same city.

Image source: SebbyMorningstar, MART PRODUCTION/Pexels (not the actual photo)

#11

Image source: chrisdurand, Jimmy Chan/Pexels (Not the actual photo)

Guy I went to middle school with met a 13 year old on Fortnite and traveled from Pennsylvania to Georgia to try and hook up with him. Kid understandably got spooked and told the cops, who nailed him in a sting down there when he’d already traveled down. Turns out he had a COLLECTION of CP on his computers. Is currently doing 15 years in federal prison. He had a good job in a private school and was a basketball coach, and well respected before then. The scary thing was that he was also a tutor at a special needs school on top of that, and if he’d wanted to take advantage of that he could have. As an aside, he was a complete douchebag to me since I wasn’t one of the popular clique, so any tiny shred of sympathy I’d have for him was never there to begin with. Enjoy prison, chomo.

#12 Not me directly. But I remember a few years ago, a colleague was late for work due to her train being delayed. She was coming from outside London and someone tried to take a shortcut during morning rush hour; by running over the tracks. A train hit them, they survived but lost their legs. I dunno why but that’s always haunted me. Especially when I am running late, and there is the temptation to drive faster or take a risk of some kind. It’s not worth it.

Image source: arabuna1983, Pixabay/Pexels (not the actual photo)

#13 Kid was messing with me in high school, I stood up for myself. Teacher broke it up. Kid rounded up his boys and tried to run up on me same day at lunch. Two of the three guys he was with were old team mates of mine and backed off immediately, third guy left too. Kid pulled a knife on me in front of the resource officer, got tased and sent off to juvie. He’s been in and out of prison since and on hard drugs. That was 16 years ago.

Edit: honestly I should be the last person defending this guy but the assumptions of mental health issues or just being on the path to drugs and alcohol are nonsense. This guy was a decent baseball player and I don’t know of any substance use in school, no mental health issues to speak to other than being an a*s and was during a time where I’m sure both our hormones were raging. I know I had issues with my behavior at that age. I’m not sure why he picked on me or how it got that far that fast but you all are just jumping to conclusions that aren’t inline with what I know is true. This guy just made a big mistake and it seems to have snowballed his life away, it’s not an uncommon situation. I now work in behavioral health and I’ve seen it a fair few times. Could he have had these issues and I didn’t know? Sure but as the guy who was there it doesn’t feel like it. The prison system in this country does not help people.

Image source: smil3b0mb

#14 Former Redditor SpontaneousH. He took h****n for an AMA to prove it wasn’t as good/bad as everyone said. He got hooked and blogged his whole downward spiral. He got rehab and was better last i heard, but it went from “dude, bad idea” to ‘you can’t stop watching the tragedy unfold before you” in no time

Image source: BurnTheOrange, Andrea Dibitonto/Pexels (not the actual photo)

#15 Friend graduated with me from pharmacy school, we were all set to start making 130k+ a year for the rest of our lives.

Image source: Sad-Swordfish8267, MART PRODUCTION/Pexels (not the actual photo)

He sold 2.9 million dollars of oxycodone to an undercover DEA agent like 3 months into his first job. What a total idiot.

19 year prison sentence, lost his license, obviously, so now he’ll be a 45 year old unemployable felon when he gets out instead of a respected healthcare professional with a good wage.

#16 *World of Warcraft*. He had a full scholarship to a very good university that his family could not have afforded otherwise. He started playing WoW 60 hours a week and got expelled halfway though his second year.

Image source: ThadisJones, Jeremy Keith/Flickr

#17 Two I didn’t see first hand but I am aware of.

Image source: LongrodVonHugedong86, Lukas Rychvalsky/Pexels (not the actual photo)

1 – Lad I grew up with, nice lad from a rough family, he was the black sheep. He was intelligent, polite, didn’t fight, didn’t get in trouble, was well liked and so on. Some time around his 19th birthday he was on a night out with friends, got drunk and another lad bumped into him accidentally spilling his drink, his friend he was with got in the other guys face even though he apologised so the guy pushed him away. The nice kid I grew up with punched the guy, he fell, hit his head and died. He got sent to prison for manslaughter. Completely ruined his life, in and out of prison multiple times since, fell into drugs and so on. He was the one who could have escaped his family reputation and gone on to do something with his life but f****d it.

2 – is an ex-girlfriend of mine and this happened before I met her. Studying to be a doctor, smart, beautiful, great sense of humour, proper social butterfly type who people just wanted to be around. There was a birthday party for her friend and she drove there to drop off a present, say hi and had to go home as she had classes the next day. When she was there she obviously declined alcohol but had a glass of lemonade someone offered her and got in her car to go home. Drove the wrong way down a motorway and crashed her car into someone else, causing serious injury to both herself and the other person. Turns out that she’d been drugged at the party. I don’t know the exact ins and out off the top of my head but she basically admitted to guilt and spent 3 months in prison, her plans for life were ruined and she had to start over. Never drove again, never drank again (even though she didn’t drink at the party, she flat out refused to even have a lemonade any more and would take her own bottle of Coca Cola or something in her bag so she could screw the lid on. Got SEVERE anxiety and depression etc.

When she told me I felt so bad for her because some a*****e drugged her and she ended up both injured, with a criminal record, a driving ban and her life ruined.

#18 Impulsive decision to street race their friends on a country road. Hit a tree and and managed to k**l everyone in the car. From bad decision to death was less than a minute. I didn’t so much see it happen, as I got to comfort the best friend of one the kids in the aftermath.

Image source: thiscouldbemassive, Garvin St. Villier/Pexels (not the actual photo)

#19 Goody two shoes mom of two lil kids, never a party girl, she’s the one who had 1 glass of wine and called it a night. 40th bday, her friends got c*****e. She’d never tried it. Did a line at home with friends. Fentanyl… Dead. Kids have no mom, and she gets labeled as a junkie.

Image source: SupermouseDeadmouse, Dan Prado/Pexels (not the actual photo)

#20 Guy in my high school went hill jumping (speeding in a really hilly area outside DC, hit the steep hill fast enough and its like a ramp and you get some air) and flew over a hill into the back of a car stopped behind a bus. Mom and kids in the car were k***ed.

Image source: verminiusrex, Anastasiia Chaikovska/Pexels (not the actual photo)

#21 Knew a military guy who solicited sex on gov’t computers and lost his wife and home after he was caught. Investigators found evidence of fraud and other stuff on his PC so he was charged for that too. While confined to quarters, he set a fire that could’ve endangered dozens so he caught even more charges. All of this he could’ve avoided just by using his personal phone/computer. I think society is probably better off w/ him getting caught though

Image source: AvgSizedPotato

#22

Image source: _Halboro_, cottonbro studio/Pexels (not the actual photo)

This is from someone who wrote into an advice column but it has stuck with me lo these many years.

The guy wrote about how he had begged his wife to swing with the couple next door.

She was **deadset against it but he pestered her about it for a couple of years** and she finally, **reluctantly**, agreed.

When the time came, the guy was very disappointed to find the neighbor’s wife was not as “tight” as he had anticipated. Meanwhile his neighbor was giving his wife what looked to be an out of body experience.

It made him EXTREMELY angry and resentful of his wife for enjoying it so much. I think he said something like “I can’t even look at her without wanting to punch her in the face.” The columnist told him off and advised him to file for divorce.

The guy wrote an update stating a few months after the “swinging” occurred, the neighbors divorced and his wife left him for the guy next door. They married soon after.

He felt blindsided and betrayed.

#23

Image source: CatOfTechnology, Pixabay/Pexels (not the actual photo)

This isn’t like, a single instance where a person f****d up their whole life in one go, but I was there for the domino that brought down the whole house.

Was working at a Gas station. Lady wanted smokes but didn’t have her ID. I refused to make the sale, she was upset, got angry, stole a banana. Well, police frequented the store because it was the only one that was open 24hrs in the town. Cop watches her take the banana after her fit and promptly stops her in the parking lot before she can leave. At first, he was just going to have her return the banana as a sorta petty way to get back at her for being a huge b***h about the whole situation with the smokes.

Five minutes later, he’s still got her stopped and two more squad cars roll up with their lights on.

Turns out, Lady had 8 warrants in 3 states for various drug and theft charges.

She got taken in, ostensibly extradited to the other states for charges, and raked over the courts over a pack of swisher sweets and a f*****g banana.

#24

Image source: Fluffy-Hotel-5184, Mikhail Nilov/Pexels (not the actual photo)

When my 27-year marriage was ending, my soon-to-be ex-husband, who did not know how to handle money at all, asked me to make a list of how to keep his bills paid. I did. Divorce involves #1) me taking half the marital assets and b) he has to pay his own bills now. When he discovered this he was very bitter and decided he was just “not gonna do anything that b***h says” as per the list of how to pay his bills. He was sued and had his pay garnished, lost his job, his car, his home and his entire support network all within a year because he didnt want to handle his finances the way I told him to, after he ASKED ME HOW TO DO IT! That one decision ruined his life.

#25 Guy wiped out on the road in front of me in his motorbike. His chin got caught on the metal rung used as a step at the back of a truck in front of him. I’d never seen someone literally lose their head until that moment, and I’ll be ok if I never see it again.

Image source: WalkwiththeWolf, Djordje Petrovic Djordje Petrovic/Pexels (not the actual photo)

#26 A woman I worked with got her nursing license and got a job a month later ( where I worked) she proceeded to steal a bunch of pills that day and was fired and lost her license.

Image source: 4purpleroses, Polina Tankilevitch/Pexels (not the actual photo)

#27 My cousins wife. She was a neighbor of his since they were pretty young, and we all knew her from when she was a little girl. She grew into a beautiful woman, they started dating, married ( I was their best man), and had beautiful twin girls. They had a very nice suburban home. She somehow got involved in the Denver m**h scene. Abandoned her husband, her kids, and was living under an underpass somewhere in Denver, just a shell of her former self. Then we got word that she had died. Heartbreaking.

Image source: shastadakota

#28 When I worked in food service, one of the kitchen guys backflipped into a shallow lake and hit the back of his neck on the protruding supports for an old dock. I believe he was instantly rendered quadriplegic. That was maybe 15 years ago and I have no idea if he’s still around, but he was a really nice guy, maybe late teens or early 20s. Saddest s**t I’ve ever had happen to anyone I knew.

Image source: MarvinLazer

#29 There’s a video of a guy who goes to slash the tires on a bus. Bus tires hold a hell of a lot more energy than car tires so instead of a hiss when he stabs the tire, his arm gets blown off and his body is thrown to the ground.

Image source: LordBrandon, Akshay Bineesh/Pexels (not the actual photo)

#30 Dude with a Six-figure IT job stole a $600 laptop *knowing we lojacked ALL laptops.*

Image source: JDdoc, JÉSHOOTS/Pexels (not the actual photo)

He waited a month and then booted it up on his home network. The laptop promptly sent us his IP address and network name…which was his last name.

Boss called him out on it, he broke down and confessed and was fired.

This is not the dumbest part of the story.

He was the *second* person in IT to steal a laptop and get caught and fired. And yes, he knew all about the first guy.

WHAT….the f**k. It has been years and I still can’t wrap my head around it.

For your amusement: when we did the final interview with his replacement we did it as a group and each asked him a question and answered any questions he might have. When my turn came I asked him “Do you ever get the urge to just…steal stuff?” and the whole team lost it. Boss was not amused but it all worked out. Guy had a great sense of humor.

#31

Image source: LordBaranof, Daniel Moises Magulado/Pexels (not the actual photo)

A friend of mine freshman year in college, took all the money his dad had given him for college and bought a ring and proposed to his girlfriend, who was a senior in high school. she said she wanted to wait until she graduated, which he took as a no, and in a fit of anger, threw the ring into the nearby lake. His plan was his dad would be so happy he was getting married, that he would reimburse all the money he had given him. Instead, the ring was gone, he had to drop out of college because he couldn’t pay, and last I saw, he was working at a convenience store in town.

Even though she said wait, she still tried to get back together with him afterwards, and he said no, you weren’t interested when I proposed to you, you won’t be interested again.

#32 My middle school principal. He had a wife, kids and a house.

Image source: charesleeray8, Junior Developer/Pexels (not the actual photo)

He lost it all when he was caught trying to pay a 15 year old for sex that turned out to be an undercover officer. He got charged and was put on probation for 3 years, lost his job, most likely won’t ever see his wife or kids again and I doubt any place will hire him

#33

Image source: Fog_mccobb, cottonbro studio/Pexels (not the actual photo)

I knew a funeral director who took a ring from the hand of a deceased person at the cemetery after the family had left the graveside and before the body was lowered into the ground. He did some jail time and lost his license and livelihood.

#34 Taking out his motorcycle and thinking he doesn’t need a helmet because he’s just going a couple blocks.

Image source: moonshadowmama, Gijs Coolen/Pexels (not the actual photo)

#35 Gambling addictions! The UK is plagued by constant adverts for gambling sites, so many different types, and now you don’t have to leave your house or look anyone in the eye while you do it.

Image source: whatever3653, Javon Swaby/Pexels (not the actual photo)

Vaguely knew a guy who blew all of his (and his wife’s!) savings in the course of a single evening. All online while she was sat in the room. The addiction had been there for a while, but that was the big one. I’m pretty sure he spent more than they actually had. Lost everything – she left him and the rumours were that he was gonna lose his house. I left that job a while later, so no idea what became of either of them, but I doubt it was good.

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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