• Resolving Problems

My roommate read my private messages

Published: February 11, 2017 | By | 7 Replies Continue Reading
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A woman feels violated when her roommate and friend reads her private messages.



I’ve known a girl for four years whom I met at University. We’ve been through a lot together including a difficult year in industry. We’ve classified each other as best friends (although there’s another girl, admittedly, to whom I feel closer than I do to her.

Recently this girl who I’ve known for four years went onto my private messages between my boyfriend and me, and got very angry over what she saw. I had been upset with her and had vented to him. Some ugly things were said, which I never dreamt she would see. She then turned around and ambushed me unexpectedly and left things on bad terms before the holidays.

I’ve contacted her trying to meet up to sort it out but as time has passed, it seems this situation is no longer about the messages but about my boyfriend and how he “brings out the worst in me.” My relationship with him isn’t smooth but it’s a man I love. She also decided that I hadn’t tried hard enough to patch things up with her and believes I don’t care about our friendship.

I’m going back to University in two days and I live with this girl. I don’t know how to come to terms with the fact that she invaded my privacy, lied to me about it, ambushed me, told other people about it and took pictures of my conversation with my boyfriend… and then proceeded to get annoyed at me for not trying hard enough. I now feel like the one who’s been betrayed. I only have four months left at school…but I don’t know whether to salvage or make amends, or leave our relationship on acquaintance terms.

Any advice?


Hi Fiona,

This is a tough situation, made tougher because you and your friend are living together. I’m sure to want to create a living environment that is as conflict-free as possible rather than allow misunderstandings to fester and interfere with your studies.

It was wrong of your friend to invade your privacy by reading your phone messages and sharing them with other people. Even if she doesn’t think your relationship with your boyfriend is a healthy one, she shouldn’t have shared her concerns (or your messages) with your mutual friends.

Now that some time has elapsed and tempers have cooled off, you and your friend need to talk and reach agreement on mutual expectations/responsibilities for living together for the remainder of the school year.

  • You need to agree to respect each other’s privacy.
  • You need to try to communicate with each other when problems arise (rather than vent to friends).
  • Even if your friend doesn’t like your boyfriend or think he is good for you, she needs to understand it is your decision to make, not hers. You may want to agree on some “house rules” for his visits and those of other guests.

It’s unlikely you will ever feel as close with this friend as you once did but, hopefully, you’ll be able to remain on good terms as roommates.

Hope this helps.

Best, Irene

Previously on The Friendship Blog:

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Category: Disappointing friends

Comments (7)

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  1. Katarina says:

    The exact same thing just happened to me. Literally to a T. She’s showing everyone pictures of the messages, and I’ve been so apologetic because I feel so guilty but at the same time I think it’s important to remember that anyone who would violate your privacy like that for no reason is not considered a good friend at all. Don’t hold on to something that won’t hold on to you.

  2. Jake says:

    She can’t be trusted.

  3. Denise says:

    This is so ridiculous! The absolute nerve she has to be angry at you when she violated your privacy. You have every right to vent to anyone and later decide if you want to talk to the person you’re annoyed with. This reminds me of a spouse reading phone messages when the other spouse has left clear clues of an ongoing affair. That’s fair.

    I support the following ideas from others: use a great password for everything, install a lock, don’t trust her, keep your phone or other personal, vulnerable items with you at all times. House rules can easily be ignored so don’t rely on that. For me it would be a long, uncomfortable 4 months and what she did would make me keep her at a distance. If I can’t trust someone, she/he isn’t a friend. Really, from now on all access to personal should be password protected. Why take a risk with anyone in the future?

  4. LauraSL says:

    Your roommate was 100% wrong for snooping on your messages. You didn’t do anything wrong. You had a private conversation with your bf. It’s not like you left a printout laying around for her to see. She betrayed you by snooping on your phone. Adults are not supposed to do things like that. You can speak privately to your bf about whatever you want. However, if you electronics are not password protected, be sure to put passwords on them!

  5. Amy F says:

    It’s going to be a long 4 months. Unless you can changes roommates, the best thing you can do is come to terms with each other on how to move forward. I never put anything in writing I wouldn’t say to a person. You were not wrong for venting to your boyfriend, although any time you write (or type) something, there’s a risk a 3rd party could see what you’ve written. Your roommate was 100% in the wrong. Still, she has a right to feel hurt over what she read, even though she should NOT have read it. You can apologize for what you wrote even though it was never meant for her eyes. You can promise to talk to her if you have an issue with her. Although you don’t owe her an apology, an olive branch might be a good idea to preserve your nerves for the next 4 months. An apology can be used as leverage for Irene’s suggestion of “house rules”. Remember this isn’t about giving her the “win” in your argument, because she was completely wrong. No excuses. You want to make the next 4 months as smooth as possible. Living in a metaphoric combat zone will wreak havoc on your mind and affect your mental health.

  6. Jacqueline says:

    Since you still have four months of living with her, can you put a lock on your door?

    She violated your privacy, and yet blames YOU for her actions! She is the one who is wrong, and you have done all you can to salvage the friendship. Her reasoning is that your boyfriend brings out the worst in you, but that does not excuse her crossing the line behaviour.

    It sounds to me like she is jealous of that other girl you feel closer to now, and your boyfriend. She cannot be trusted. If you are unable to lock your door, I would suggest you hide anything personal, or always have it with you. It is sad you have to do this, but it is only for another four months.

    I would not try to be friends with her again, as you have seen for yourself how toxic she is and what she is capable of. I would be civil, polite, and leave it at that. She is certainly not your friend.

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