22 Heartbreaking Stories Of How 1 Mistake Cost These People Everything

Published 9 months ago

Life can be going swimmingly well, then all of a sudden because of one stupid mistake everything can get ruined within a second. Like a porcelain vase that falls to the ground and smashes to smithereens. You will never have the same perfect vase or life ever again. 

We all make mistakes, but some are more grievous than others. Life can indeed, be surprisingly fragile and we are not as invincible as we believe in our youth. One Redditor sparked a rather sombre discussion when they asked people what incidents “ruined” their lives. The resulting responses are heartbreaking and certainly serve as a cautionary tale to the rest of us. 

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My husband had a nice job as a high level retail manager, before his store closed. He became a lead for less $ in an inventory company. He was generally considered to be a nice, but quiet. You’d see more of his personality when he was working on computers (self taught) or video games or pool. General consensus was that he was a good guy always ready to game with the kids. Less than a month after our 6th anniversary, I found a video on our tablet from a hidden camera in our bathroom that showed my 14 year old niece. It looked like he kept the image on the cloud and would add it to what ever device he was using and then delete it. He just missed that last step. I called the police immediately and he never came home again. They found more imagines on his computer and a 20 minute video, full front view of his face, as he tries to hide the camera. He plead guilty and received 40 years with 34 suspended. He will have to register as a sex offender and has some pretty stiff rules to follow(no alcohol, no items that can connect to the internet unless he pays for a company to put monitoring software on every internet accessible device. The day I found it , I sent him to work with a kiss. I found the images around 1130am and had surrendered the tablet and gotten the case started with the police by 1145. I have told every relationship Ive been in, husband included, that the one thing that will make me turn you in and walk away and never look back. He, truly thought, I would never leave him and was all surprised Pikachu face when I kept my promise. His actions caused him to lose everything he took for granted that he would always. Our daughter was 5, then, and for her he just disappeared one day. Now, I am watching her grow and mature into a beautiful person and he doesn’t get the privilege of even knowing this beautiful child. I’m sure that separation has hurt him a lot, but you don’t get trusted with any child, even your own, after you do something like that. Good riddance 34 years suspended sentence*

Image source: eminva02


Image source: Lizard_Person0, Pavel Danilyuk

My cousin (18F) finished her senior year early, so she was basically just waiting for May to do the graduation and get her diploma. She worked at a lake restaurant and had started hanging out with a bad crowd. At this time she had been smoking a lot of weed and drinking, as well as just being generally reckless all the time. She was my best friend so she texted me to tell me about everything she did basically. One night she texted me to tell me that she had tried m**h and it was “the best high of her life but she will never do it again.” Exactly one month after that text she overdosed and died. They put her portrait in her graduation seat and her dad got to walk and pick up her diploma.


An acquaintance. He had a good job, nice truck, mortgage on a nice home, minimal debt, in a relationship with someone out of his league. Before I knew him he’d had a DUI, but his attorney got him a plea deal that dropped the DUI down to a minor charge. A real lucky break. All he had to do was stay the course.

He could have walked home that night. It was less than two miles. But he was too proud to leave his truck at the bar, so instead he wrapped it around a power pole. No one was hurt, including him. The judge who got his case was furious to learn his previous DUI had been pled down. The judge rejected a plea deal and vowed to throw the book at him.

There was prison, then a year on house arrest. His job required a driver license, so that was gone. I don’t know at what point in his house arrest he could have started working, but he refused to. His former employer offered him a non-driving job, less money but still good money. He turned it down because it was beneath him. He said the same thing to two jobs his girlfriend singlehandedly secured for him. Even after his house arrest, he refused to work. He said he didn’t want to. Apparently yelling at his girlfriend to pay his mortgage was better than working.

She finally got the courage to leave. His parents found him dead. No one will ever know if he intended to drink himself to death or whether it just happened. His parents blamed the girlfriend. Apparently the world would still be graced by his presence if she had stayed to get hit and yelled at.

Please don’t drive drunk. Not ever. Not even a little. If you’re not sure, just don’t. And if you suspect you have the disease of addiction, please get help. I don’t really care that this person died, but he hit a lot of innocent branches on the way down. A lot of suffering for no reason.

Image source: notreallylucy


Image source: go_zarian, Ihsan Adityawarman

Singapore here.

One Chinese lady ranted on Facebook about a nearby Malay wedding in a public space. According to her, divorce rates among Malay couples are high due to weddings which cost, according to her, only 50 SGD (30 USD).

She posted that rant on a Sunday afternoon. The backlash against her was fast and furious. By Monday morning four government ministers (including our Prime Minister) had spoken out against her.

She was out of her cushy directorial position at a major government agency by lunchtime Monday.

We take racial harmony in Singapore very, very, seriously.


Image source: princhester, Pixabay

I’m a lawyer. Another well respected lawyer in my jurisdiction was involved in an absolutely huge property settlement involving dozens upon dozens of deeds, side agreements, financial documents, yada yada yada. The whole lot (presumably involving literally a hundred or so signatures) had been signed off by her client.

In the early hours of the morning – having no doubt slaved away for untold hours getting everything ready for the settlement the next day – she must have realised that she had missed getting one signature on one minor document from her client so she faked it.

I can see the pressure she was under and how she probably thought “it doesn’t matter, my client would have signed it anyway and only didn’t because they overlooked it, no one will ever notice”.

Someone noticed and she went from high paid property lawyer to never being able to practice again, just like that.

People occasionally ask me to sign things off, as a lawyer, and suggest I overlook minor irregularities such as wanting me to witness a signature even though I didn’t actually see the signatory sign. Then they get all offended and act like I’m being a stick-up-the-a*s perfectionist when I won’t do it.


Image source: TommyToes96, Marcus Aurelius

A senior girl from my college pushed another girl she was friends with off a ~30 foot bridge into water as a joke, broke her neck and collarbone and she’s permanently in a wheelchair Edit: Holy S**t this blew up while I was asleep I’ll answer some questions: 1. Two days in hospital for her ‘friend’ Two days in jail for the girl who pushed her, She spent the same time in jail as the victim spent in hospital it’s f****d up 2. The parents of the victim chose not to press charges. 3. It was not Taylor Smith 4. I’ve seen similar stories online but succesfully found the actual story it’s not the one that went viral [https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/woman-paralysed-after-being-pushed-25291101](https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/woman-paralysed-after-being-pushed-25291101)


Image source: Figgywithit, MESSALA CIULLA

A close friend of my best friend grabbed his eight year old son’s new skateboard and took off down a hill in Georgia. Hit a rock, landed on his head and had permanent brain damage. He lived years before he mercifully died. Had to be restrained the whole time because the damage made him erratic and violent. Wear a helmet!


Image source: Balrogkicksass, ebcenter moscow

I was an alcoholic for years. It was widely known but I at the time had a job and was a “successful” functioning alcoholic. More and more small cracks were becoming bigger cracks in my personal foundation until the only thing I didn’t really lose was my car. My father who I lived with at the time gave me the ultimatum of basically either going to rehab or never talking to him again and given that he was the only person left I could even talk to I had to do the right thing.

I spent 97 days in a facility and got out in November of 2021. It took me a couple months of adjusting to my new lifestyle outside of rehab but now, I have a job working third shift. I have the majority of people I love/loved back in my life although I know I won’t get all of them back and that is 100 percent my fault.

Every day is a different day I can try my hardest to avoid being the person I became and I am going to do that every god damn day until my body gives out because I have too much to live for without alcohol. I lost years or my life, people, money, property, and eveny freedom and self respect but I am slowly gaining all of it back.


Image source: No_Key_6276, cottonbro studio

Former friend of mine was arrested for soliciting an 11yo online and traveling across state to meet her. I never expected him to do that. His girlfriend at the time asked if I wanted to be a character witness and I noped out before she finished her sentence. Judge made an example out of him and sentenced him to life, apparently it wasn’t his first SA offense. I can’t believe she even stuck around to even consider looking for people to testify on his behalf Edit: he was only caught after her friend saw pictures of her “boyfriend” and realized he was way too old to be an 11yo’s boyfriend and told the girl’s mother. He was 31 when he was sentenced.


Image source: Massengill4theOrnery

The numb nut that carved on the Coliseum


Image source: SafariNZ, Kindel Media

Arrive at work on their first day as a temp at around 10am, caught stealing the bosses wallet at 12:30, taken away by Police at 1pm


Image source: jadenwydbro, Javon Swaby

Watched a guy gamble $30k away in a night and then cried about losing his life savings and security had to get involved and escort him out because he started to get angry at the dealers because all they could offer him was free night stays at the hotel for playing so much but he wanted freeplay at the tables/slots and they refused


Image source: CindyinMemphis, Nicola Barts

My Dad was an alcoholic. In his youth, he was the quintessential golden boy, handsome, an exceptional athlete, married to my beauty queen mother with three little girls, barely 2 years apart. Great job, house, new car, the works. Little by little it all slipped away. He died while living in the Salvation Army, penniless. He always told me a drinking man will never have anything.

I miss you Daddy. More than you could ever know….


Patients with actual curable ( early stage ) cancer and decide to get treated with a “ more natural approach”. SPOILER ALERTS: they always come back with metastatic disease.

Image source: Upset_Competition_98


Image source: erelwind, Erik Mclean

I have a friend who had a drinking problem and got into an argument with a gas station worker while drunk. The worker tried stopping his car by standing in front of it and my friend ran him over and killed him.

Wife, career, freedom, everything lost…


About 16 years ago, the company I worked for wanted to expand into America. To do so they sent me and several of my coworkers abroad. We lived in the US for several years to set it up.

When we were there, one of my coworkers became fascinated with, I guess what you’d US gangster culture. He started dressing like a stereotypical gangster, got tattoos, said the n-word with a hard r constantly, and even got a gun from who knows there.

So it was a nice night, about 3 weeks before we were due to go back. We had set up chairs in a park to drink beers and were pretty buzzed. Suddenly some dude starts shouting at us from a distance, and my friend, with all his logical thinking concluded that it must be a threat, so he pulled out his gun and opened fire.

That guy was a cop.

The policeman understandably returned fire. The rest of us dive to the ground and my friend is hit twice, one in his shoulder and one in his leg.

It turns out that there had been some kidnapping nearby by some people that matched our general appearance, which was why the cop started out hostile. I didn’t blame him, and it was both his and his partner’s testimonies that protected us from any legal trouble. The next few weeks were a blur, but I remember him still being hospitalized when I flew back home.

I don’t actually know what happened to him after that, my boss told me he’s still alive but he got fired obviously but I never saw him again.

Image source: LoreCriticizer


Image source: Important_Stroke_myc, Cytonn Photography

Crime, specifically felonies. My lawyer took out a loan forging my signature. He’s doing 15 years in federal prison. I would have given him the $5000. His kid was very sick and I would have gladly helped him out.


Had an employee on her first day take a 2hr lunch to go to get her makeup done in the middle of the day. She came back and was escorted out looking amazing.

Image source: MisterBulldog


Image source: Innohurrytodie, Andrea Piacquadio

A coworker sent an explicit text to a new Hire using the company comms system.
She pretended to be interested and then reported him, with a very long thread as proof.

Dude was married, with kids, a supervisor.

Now: Divorced, kids hate him, works a low level job.


Image source: csudebate, energepic.com

My daughter’s boyfriend, July 4, 2023.

Hopped in his car blackout drunk to come see my daughter. DUI and hit & run.

He is just about to begin a painful, life-altering process.


Image source: gaspronomib, Matheus Bertelli

Saw a pilot without instrument rating take off into IMC conditions (instrument-meteorological conditions is a flight category that describes weather conditions that require pilots to fly primarily by instruments rather than use visual cues to maintain controlled flight).

He had his whole family on board. Weather was closing in. He agreed that it was impossible to get home, but wanted to make it to a larger municipal airport so they wouldn’t have to stay in a motel. The fuel attendant and a bunch of old veteran pilots hanging around the airport office all said they’d drive him to a nicer place, but he thought he’d have a better chance of getting out the next day from the other airport. Conditions weren’t *that* bad when he took off, but we all agreed later that no one without instrument rating would/should have flown that day.

So the last time anyone saw that whole family (pilot, wife, two adult sons) alive was all of us watching him take off and fly just under the cloud base to do a “scud run” in the direction of the nearest muni. They crashed in full overcast ten miles out. No survivors.

All told, it probably took fifteen minutes for this guy to make the worst- and last- decision of his life.

This was over 30 years ago, but it’s haunted me ever since- what could/should I have done differently that might have convinced him to not fly? I was a newbie pilot at the time, but even I knew it was a bad idea. There were at least three other pilots there that day. Did he feel ganged up on? Could we have appointed the most grizzled straight-shootin gravel-voiced veteran to take the guy aside and give him a “I’m not your dad, but” talk? Should we have tackled him and taken away his keys? Called the cops? What would we even have told them? I’ve long since come to terms with it, but there are still the occasional moments where I feel like I failed.


Image source: vargo911, Oleksandr Canary Islands

I had a friend that had a promising career got upset and went into full road rage for a woman who forgot to turn her blinker on and he slightly bumped her back bumper on the freeway causing her to lose control and flipping over and killing the driver and her two daughters. Oddly..it was all caught on his car dash cam and a trucker with his own dash cam that was behind him. He is now doing 40+ years in prison. *Post update* I wasn’t expecting much attention on this story. Additional details that people keep asking me. I can’t say we were close friend or good friends. We hung out during high school years. I may have seen him a couple times afterwards. He moved out of state. Most information I got was from his sister. I do know that he is in jail for what he did. Now I’m not sure if his sister is not giving me the full story but I do know he definitely received high jail sentence. I know he went to college for marketing. I believe he was interning for high end sports marketing company.

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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biggest mistakes, deepest regrets, health, mental health, mistakes, ruined lives
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