Sometimes the Love of Your Life Comes After the Mistake of Your Life

Sometimes the Love of Your Life Comes After the Mistake of Your Life

It’s no coincidence that many people who do find true love will admit that they hit “rock bottom” or something close to it before changing their approach.

Maybe they even call it the “mistake of their life”, something that was so difficult and probably traumatic, that it changed their entire thought process. The event changed their way of dealing with people. Maybe it even shifted their values just a little bit.

What explains this phenomenon?


Learning About Yourself

Why is it that sometimes we have to make a big mistake BEFORE we’re “allowed” to discover the heavenly bliss of true love?

Well before we get into the scientific discussion, let’s go back to the beginning of our own memories. When you’re young, you feel very idealistic. You’re focused. Enthusiastic. You know what you want and you go out there and get it.

First off, we see why it’s so easy to make a BIG mistake at this point in your life. You’re still learning. You’re broadening your horizons. You might be questioning things you’ve always believed or that your parents believed.

Even more difficult, is the fact that many young idealists only see “the man of their dreams”, a paragon of everything masculine, attractive, and ethical.

It’s inevitable that going into dating without much experience, and seeing things from an idealistic perspective, can lead to disappointment. Soon enough, you meet new people. You have your views on life challenged. Some people disappoint you. Others use you or take advantage of you.

The idealistic “You” might not be expecting all this complication. So yes, it’s safe to say most of us will be disappointed at some point in our life if we jump into a situation with an unguarded heart – and we get hurt.

So you could say that complication helps to DEFINE you. What you really believe. Our difficulty in life, and yes even in dating, helps us to determine what we really want, believe, and need to be happy.


The First (or Second or Third) Mistake

Just don’t be too hard on yourself. Everyone makes mistakes. It’s actually kind of difficult for a young person NOT to take risks, go after new adventure, and take a chance. It’s the best time in your life to be an adventurer!

The only thing that determines a little mistake from a big mistake is how extreme the consequences are. But everyone makes mistakes. No one can be shielded from mistakes or from challenging life experiences.

The question is: do you run from it or learn from it?

Some people go through life running away, rather than learning from their mistakes and growing because of it.

It’s no surprise then that they usually jump into a nearly identical relationship after leaving the toxic one. They run away from the pain (finally) but they never actually examine the source of their pain, and analyze how they always end up in this place.

Someone who refuses to do this soul-searching is refusing to grow. They’re ignoring the patterns. You might even say, to use an old adage, they’re not “learning from history and so are doomed to repeat it.”

The best way to avoid making the same mistake over and over again is to “embrace this mistake”, rather than running away from it or pretending that it never happened. Or blaming your Evil Ex for everything that happened.

Embracing your mistake means you accept that you made it, you took the time to learn why it happened, and now that you see the consequences, you’ve learned how to avoid making that same mistake twice.


Mistakes Alter Our Thought Processes

You could also say that once you make a big mistake and experience grief because of it, you alter your thought processes. When we go through life on “auto pilot” we tend to resist doing anything differently.

We avoid change. We do the same routines and patterns that make us feel comfortable…and we perpetually build the current world as we want it.

People will usually not alter their thought processes or question their daily habits, UNLESS it starts to cause discomfort. The pain, the avoidance of discomfort, can motivate us to make major changes. Even trauma, as horrible as it is, can go a long way in teaching us self-preservation – avoiding the things that hurt us.

When you make that BIG mistake, that forces you to confront the thought processes and attitudes and even habits that have led to this pain.

That shocks you into making major changes. Changes in your habits. In your attitudes. And most of all, your thoughts, which is where it all begins.


Heartbreak Opens Your Eyes

Once you make that big mistake and feel so cheated and so robbed of happiness, two things can happen. You can become a slave to that pain, or you can open your eyes and realize that this is NOT who you want to be anymore. You deserve better than this.

And starting now, this moment, you are going to reinvent yourself.

From now on, you’re going to define the relationship you want and stop the toxic patterns of the past that ALLOWED these bad relationships to form.

And when you do finally find the man of your dreams – not the paragon, but your true love, you start to see why those past relationships never worked out. You grow as a person and can see everything in hindsight.

Now that you make mistakes and experienced pain, you can appreciate what you have now. What you have found. And yes, even the “journey” that brought you here.

You realize that your life is not just a series of mistakes and miseries, but that you’ve been learning valuable lessons all along. In that way, you can say that you don’t regret the past. Because the past taught you. Accepting the past turned you into the happy and productive person you choose to be today, not the unhappy person you were years ago.

For that reason, we can be grateful for our one big mistake.


43 thoughts on “Sometimes the Love of Your Life Comes After the Mistake of Your Life”

    1. Thank you, Matthew for this beautiful article. This is what happened with me. All of the above, as a matter of fact. After living in an abusive marriage of 40 years, I filed for divorce which came into effect on June 13th, 2021. By then, God had put my true love in my life. My thought processes had turned 180 degrees because of this disastrous marriage. My true love has gone through the same thing in his marriage to his ex wife. I will show him this article when the time is appropriate. Neither one of us has known love like this before. We see in each other, the things we’ve always needed and wanted in a future spouse. BTW: We are both seniors. I am 67, and he is 58.

      1. This is true for me as well. I had the death of a spouse and then remarried without knowing I was marrying a narcissist. Whew. It took me a while but I got out of it and grieved deeply. However, as the article said, I delved into recovery….reading everything I could on the subject and made sure I read something every day, even now.
        I have met a man who had similar circumstances, I’m 67 and he is 76. We fit like a glove. It’s the most amazing relationship and my kids and family just love him. We are planning a life together now and I am so happy. I feel like I have been reborn in personality and emotion. I can be the happy, funny, interesting person I have always had to put last. I was always last. Now, I’m No. 1 in his eyes and I am beginning to love it. Thank you for this insight.

        1. Alina Vazquez

          Narcissist are extremely toxic to our well being both mentally & to our physical health. I recently got away from a 10.5 year relationship with one & I have felt that I need time to recover & heal my beat up soul, before I decide to date again. God has blessed me many times in times of grief & I’ve come out of this situation with a good open heart. Thank you Mathew for the hopeful & positive advise, I needed to read this this morning!

      2. So basically, Cassie, there is still hope for me yet. Thank you for this response.
        It helped more than you know.
        Congratulations on the love of your life x

    2. Virginia Persaud

      Hi! Kim, please to meet you, my name is Virginia, and I was reading your article, it was very interesting….you do have alot of answers to give? I am married 36 years now and living with my husband kids and grandson, I have known my husband since I was 17 years old, thought I was the happiest woman on earth,but never was? Was always cheating on me until this day, its so much to say my dear….but as I get older i become more wiser, i realized that i have to make me happy, and i do the things to make myself happy, i hold my family together because I wanted my kids to be happy, and now they are grown men and women I have my say to happiness….I grow up the old fashion way thinking that we woman some of us have to stay with our husbands no matter what? But I realize that’s not how it works, we are human beings and need to be love and respect, some of us women feel like myself that if I move on god will be mad with me because when a woman is married she needs to stay with her husband? But as I realized lifea as I get older, 8 deserve to be happy just like anyone regardless of whom? I would like to hear from you for some answers in regards of somethings I mention here to you.

      1. Hi love, I hear you! I stayed with my ex husband for too long, being abused, not wanting to end our marriage because of similar reasons as you… I wanted to help him and keep my kids safe and happy. However it got to a point I was hospitalised so many times I could not put up with it anymore and realised it was doing more harm staying with him to me and my kids than leaving him. So I finally found the courage to do so. Please listen to your heart and know when things are bad it’s OK to let them go you can’t help everyone! Esp if they are abusing you like I was. Take care xx

  1. This is so true. I recall all the idealistic ideas I had when younger and the bad experiences I had. When I had what I thought I wanted didn’t fit my mould it fell apart. The other thing is that I realised that I was also trying to be what others wanted instead of being the best version of me!
    All I can say is that I have learnt so much over the years and, I realised, that if I didn’t change as I learned I got the same result. I’m still learning but, what is refreshing, is that I’m still learning, albeit from new mistakes, but feel so much better about myself and appreciate that people will be what you let them, I just stick to my standards of how I want to be treated and what I will accept but you also need to appreciate others opinions, thoughts and wants too.

    1. I’m dating a senior man I’ve known for over 30 years. He was married, divorced, married again and she died. (I’ve been single for 10 years and now he has begun asking me out. I made it clear that I do not want to get remarried.) He was known as “a player” even while married. I believe that even at age 73, he still is. He is smart and wealthy which is attractive to many women. I recently found out from one of his sons that DAD is dating someone else. (You see, I’ve known the sons since they were young and they seem concerned about me and what DAD might do.) Should I proceed, with caution, and just have fun? He said to me a couple weeks ago that he thinks I want more from this relationship than he does. (He’s right about that. I don’t want to marry him but I do want an exclusive relationship and it appears that he does not want that! Should I just stop seeing him? We do have a LOT of fun together. Suggestions???

  2. One big mistake thinking a cheater was all I deserved. Thinking he would charge and become the man I wanted him to be. Did not happen. Finally done and moving on to find what I DO deserve

  3. I am on this very journey of healing and recovery as you write this. I just ended a horrific relationship that I still cannot comprehend and have come to the understanding that maybe the reasons are not mine to know and that it wasn’t really about me at all. Rather my partner had no idea of what to do with a genuine woman. I so appreciate this writing as encouragement to keep going and eliminating old beliefs and value systems that no longer serve me. It was inspirational and falls right in line with all I am learning and trying to change within myself. Thank you with full gratitude.

    1. Laurie Wetzel

      Vanessa, thank -you for showing me that I am not the only woman married to a man who finally admits that he doesn’t know what to do intimately with a woman. Married 26 years to this man. Was my best friend but I need a man that is capable of a balanced, intimate relationship. I suffered self-esteem issues and felt rejected. I am working on a solution to be able to walk away. Thank-you again.

      1. I just recently ended a 3 year relationship with a narcissist. I have not completely passed the hope he would come to his senses but my head tells me it is impossible. Any story of success gives me hope. I need to shake this and be open to a new relationship. I only keep pushing good men awY. I want to love again.
        I am past 60. But I felt so happy when we first me. Now I am so guarded especially to being love bombed.



  5. I Love this article so much. It teaches you that the obstacles we have in life are not even that but rather lessons to be learned that guide us to true happiness and ultimately, love. Not just live in finding a partner, but loving yourself along the way. Thank you Matthew!

  6. This was very insightful and helpful for me. I hurt like hell right now but after reading this I feel like I’m not going to break in half. I’m going to be just fine. Thank you for your help God bless you

    1. Hang in there. Do like I did. Write down what it was you didn’t like about your ex. Then write down what qualities you would like in your ideal mate. Don’t settle for anything less! Stop looking for someone. I know it sounds cliché, but the right person comes along most of the time when you’re not looking. Concentrate on yourself, have fun and the rest will follow. ☺

  7. Matthew you are amazing and very insightful hearing it come from a guy makes it hit home a lot more

    I too repeated patterns for many years but then I knew I had to look in the mirror at myself

    While this wasn’t easy to do it helped me tremendously and now I have found real love
    And when I feel the old habits creeping up
    I’m able I think twice before I speak

    thank you thank you thank you

  8. I was in contact with a man I met many years ago and during lockdown we started emailing etc., the chemistry, fun, everything was all there, just that something. Alas at the end of March I fell and fractured my pelvis so was in hospital (ironically when we were the closest), when discharged I found things really tough with the pain and just coping, I suppose I became to emotional. Things cooled off, I knew they would once lockdown ended, so now we have left things and whether I’ll ever hear from him again God only knows. He made me feel beautiful, sexy and brought out the other side of Heather (I know I’m beautiful, sparkling and quite a personality etc), I do miss him but my injury showed me that he is shallow and slightly narcissistic. Close friends said to me do you want to be stroking his ego 247.

    I have turned things around now texted him and said I would let him be, he has his space to do as he pleases and be with whoever. I have made myself strong, confident and happy again, I can walk now really well and I am so glad to simply be healthy again. However, he has brought out the real Heather and therefore I thank him for that. This article confirmed what I already knew, that there is no rhyme or reason why things work out and some things don’t but if I hadn’t had the injury, I would have never seen the other side of him and I fear my heart would have been badly broken.

    If he comes back I will have to then make a hard decision but by then I’ll have no doubt what to do. Thank you Matthew.

  9. Heartbreak Opens Your Eyes

    Once you make that big mistake and feel so cheated and so robbed of happiness, two things can happen. You can become a slave to that pain, or you can open your eyes and realize that this is NOT who you want to be anymore. You deserve better than this.

    This, this right here, is what finally happened for me. I had been a slave to my pain for years and anyone that was within my vicinity was going to hurt too. I not only made my self miserable, but also everyone else around me as well. And one day, I finally told god that “I can’t do this anymore and I don’t want to be this person that I’ve become” and that I needed help. My heart and soul was so damaged that I wasn’t even sure it could be repaired. And now, I know I can recover and embrace my past and not only have I learned from it, but I can let go and start to forgive and move on. Thank you so much for the any messages you leave for us, they truly are a blessing and greatly appreciated.

    1. You’re comment literally made me cry so much because I can 100 percent relate to what you just said. That I can’t do this anymore my heart and soul is so damaged I don’t know if it could be repaired. I’m trying so hard rn and giving my husband one last chance but honestly I don’t think it will work. I just feel so robbed of love and happiness and I do deserve better than this. I appreciate your comment so much it spoke to me big time❤️

  10. THANK YOU so much Matthew. This article is what I was looking for. I just end3d my 40 year abusive marriage by divorce, effective June 13th. For apx 35 years, I was abused, emotionally, verbally and physically. Also replaced by another woman. I have learned so much about myself during this process. I was at fault also. Never is only one sided. I have matured so much! Ironic at age 66, isn’t it? My TRUE love was put in my life by GOD in 2012, but we are living a ROMEO AND JULIETTE situation at the moment, literally. We will wait upon our LORD to put things in place the way they were meant to be for us. After all, it’s not the amount of time we will have together that counts but the quality of time and the deep love we have for each other. TRUE LOVE WAITS! Our love will only grow during this time of waiting. Marriage will be a priceless thing to be favoured then and cherished.

  11. Thanks Mathew you are so right I am in a relationship sort of like the other women on this site but I am dating though to get my feet wet. I am extremely picky and when they try to move in too soon I drop them after I tell them I want to get to know them first. Friends first so then the bad ones fall to the wayside. I am learning

  12. I have made several big mistakes in my life. Now in my sixties, I am told that due to abuse that I received, in utero and into my twenties, I have behaviors that I developed just to survive. I had no idea that these things were at the root of how I made choices about relationships. I hope that this will prompt others to recognize the things that keep them repeating the mistakes.

  13. Very timely article. I went to to my recent relationship with a lot of experience and no idealistic blinders. I thought I had met my long term partner who gave me no indication that he wanted anything other than to move forward together long term and was completely committed and we discussed moving out of state together at his request. Next night he got drunk and attacked me verbally for no apparent reason and told me we would not work long term and I haven’t talked with him since in the past three weeks. I suspect he was hiding a drinking issue for the past 8 months and then the cover was blown. Trying to learn but no one including me saw the signs.

  14. Thank you Mathew for words of wisdom in relationship field. I’ve been in alot of mentally abusive, verbally abusive , narsicitic relationships that I started thinking everything going wrong in the relationships was always my fault. I’d had 2 failed marriages, the guys I’d been seeing , claimed is was all me the reasons they failed . My self-esteem was in a low gear, I hated myself, thought of ending my life in the last negative relationship. I since then moved on to better quality of thinking, found the perfect gentleman, whose taken me out for lunch , on our first date we went to the Casino, met a close friend of his n we ended up in a motel n breakfast all on the same date. He really likes me he has no children n doesn’t care about having n e. I think this ones going to be my #only1. Thank you for all the positive you’ve brought in to my life’s journey Ernie. B. And you as well Mathew. Signed Nancy. E. From Manteca Ca.

  15. This is so true… after a very long marriage where I left I went thru 2 relationships. One with a player and the other with someone who had an endless list of issues. Along side these relationships was a guy I knew and we were just friends. It just happened that we got together 6 months ago. It is a very different pace and very easy to be with this person. Truth is I had a crash course in relationships with the 2 people after my marriage. And it happened for a reason. I believe if I would have gotten together with my now partner 3 years ago when we first met, it would have not worked. I had to go thru this journey and literally learn from my mistakes.

  16. Thats great to hear i too lost my first hubby when i was 36 then remarried someone he actually grew up with. I thought he sent him to me. It didn’t work out he was a truckie addicted to the road. Should ve known i always said i wouldn’t marry a truckie, as my dad was one. But i hung in and he chose not. im through the worst of losing the 2 luvs of my life but i guess your story gives me hope.

  17. Rejecting on how Relationships. Once experienced then once again followed a rebound moment in my case, I was married for 34 years to my soulmate in three days he left, leaving me a house to have to clean out go homeless put things in storage and continue to hold onto a business but I had to close during COVID-19, because I realized that if I wanted to establish a new relationship I had to let my experience was hard as I was mourning a loss specially, at my age of 68 going on 70 I personally realized that I had to make change whether it was in my previous relationship going into a new relationship ❣️and things were going to be different i’ve been single for six years now and my priority is finding love for my remaining 30 more years lesson number one first of all of love yourself my spiritual walk, and faith and taking a class in codependence learning, how to forgive, has given me strength. Trust was huge ⚠️notice any flags ⚠️ listening and Communication and honesty, and owning up to your actions was key⚠️ how to maintain a healthy relationship for both parties ⚠️now 72 theirs no time for games regardless how long it takes as that is the only way you become a winner

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