sadder but wiser
Unhappy but having learned from one's mistakes, as in Sadder but wiser, she's never going near poison ivy again. The pairing of these two adjectives was first recorded in Samuel Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798).
Examples from the Web for sadder but wiser
Contemporary Examples of sadder but wiser
I even present some statistical evidence for this cycle of unpleasant shocks followed by sadder-but-wiser recoveries.The End of World Violence?
October 4, 2011