When You Forward a Text – To the Wrong Person!



Dear Dharma,

Over the past year, I’ve been lucky enough to find a great group of new friends after moving cities 3 times the previous year. I was introduced to them by my housemate Sean, who has become one of my closest friends. I’ve also made some great girlfriends, including a lovely woman named Alicia.

Recently, Sean accidentally forwarded me a conversation he had with Alicia’s boyfriend, Justin. In the conversation, it was revealed that Justin has been casually hooking up with other women while dating Alicia.

I told Sean about his mistake immediately, saying I felt as if I now had to tell Alicia. We are friends and I know she views her relationship with Justin as exclusive.

Sean apologized for his mistake and for putting me in the middle, but asked me not to say anything to Alicia because it would mean he had betrayed Justin’s trust by sharing a secret he wasn’t supposed to.

I understand Sean’s logic to a point – he’s a very loyal person and would never share anything told to him in confidence, and he expects the same from his friends (including when he accidentally shares something via text he shouldn’t.)

But I also feel obligated to Alicia as her friend to let her know what I’ve learned.  I would want a friend of mine to tell me if my boyfriend was cheating.

I feel like I’m between a rock and a hard place here.  Being loyal to Sean means being disloyal to Alicia and vice versa.

Sound the Alarm or Not?

Dear Alarm,

Ugh.  What a crappy situation, pretty much for everyone involved.

So just to make sure I’ve got this right…Sean is asking you to be disloyal to your friend so that he can maintain unwavering loyalty to his friend all the while keeping the fact that he effed up securely under the rug.

That seems fair.


As much as I can appreciate that you feel between a rock and a hard place, it’s actually Sean who is sitting in that position more than anyone.  The only way for him to rectify that is to come clean with his buddy and let him know what happened.

In doing so, while profusely apologizing to Justin for being a dumb ass and vowing to take a Texting 101 course, he needs to make sure Justin understands that the cat is out of the bag and it’s only a matter of time before Alicia is in the know.

Then it’s Justin’s turn to take the coveted seat between that rock and that hard place, as he decides whether it’s going to be him that lets his girlfriend in on the secret that isn’t really a secret anymore, or if he would rather someone else do the honours.

Sadly, there’s no way around the drama in this situation, because you’re right – I, too, would want to know if my boyfriend was cheating on me, and I’d be more than a little teed off if my girlfriend knew and didn’t tell me. Talk about betrayal on top of betrayal, right?

So have your talk with Sean, give him some time to summon up the courage to come clean with Justin, and then give Justin a bit of time to either tell Alicia, or to pack and leave town.

As it all unrolls, you’ll know whether you need to step in or not.

You’re a good friend, Alarm, and don’t let Sean tell you otherwise.



Got a question for Dharma? She’s probably got an answer!

To submit a question anonymously, just make up a name and email – it doesn’t have to be real, as long as the fields are populated.

And be sure to follow Dharma everywhere!


Instagram too!

And of course, Twitter…

Oooh, and now on Pinterest!


For more of Dharma’s great advice, click here!



  • Nick says:

    I agree. Sean was forwarding the conversation to Someone, so he should have to face the music. Then Justin’s got some ‘splainin’ to do for sure!

    • Dharma says:

      Yup, yup – definitely a lot of difficult conversations in the future for everyone in this situation…

      Thanks for the comment, Nick! 🙂

Whether you agree with Dharma or think she missed the mark on this one, leave a Comment!

%d bloggers like this: