Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Dear Carolyn: I've just learned that my fiance, a 28-year-old up-and-coming associate at a major law firm, has been driving on a suspended license. If he's stopped or is involved in an accident, he could be arrested or jailed! I think it could also get him fired.
He says this is "no big deal"; all his violations were speeding tickets and this is a "rite of passage" for many men his age. I am thinking of ending the engagement. While I don't plan to report him to the authorities, I also won't let him drive my car, nor will I be a passenger in his when he is driving. Am I "seriously overreacting," as he claims?
I think you're responding appropriately. His casual disregard for the law has me wondering what else he thinks he's too important/special to care about. Trust humility; don't trust casual arrogance.
Re: Suspended license: As a now-40-year-old man, I can say this was never a rite of passage for me. From his statements, I would think he's not an "up-and-coming associate" but a "soon-to-be-indicted associate."
Thanks. More coming.
Re: Suspended license: Take this VERY seriously. If he drives your car and hurts someone, you are liable. If he's caught he could be disbarred. Do you want to be with someone who has this little regard for others and the law? Run!
- Anonymous 2
Re: License: You're right - it's a big deal and a red flag. But I'm a lawyer and I've known a lot of lawyers who think just like this guy, so I suspect he might be getting the green light from his peer group. She might want to look at who he's hanging out with.
- Anonymous 3
Carolyn: I get that people shouldn't drive with a suspended license, etc., but in the end people make mistakes and go through bad times, and most of a person's character comes out in those rough times. Shouldn't she judge the entire person?
- No offense
Yes, she should judge the entire person - using the speeding-ticket arrogance as a window into the character of that person. This isn't a "rough time," this is a pattern of rules-are-for-suckers behavior about which he is flatly unrepentant.