DEAR MISS MANNERS: I'm a man in a great relationship with another man. We've been together seven years and moved in together six years ago. My family has come to love and accept my partner as part of our family.
His parents are religious and give me the very cold shoulder/silent treatment. We host Thanksgiving at our house and his parents come over. And even though I do everything to welcome them, they are always rude to me (in my own house). His mother will avoid eye contact and does not say hello or goodbye to me. When I approach to do so, she quickly walks away or turns away.
On the off chance that we make eye contact, she never smiles, but she smiles and is very talkative and the "huggy" type with other people who are here for Thanksgiving. When they leave, they hug everyone and even though I'm standing there smiling, she always makes an obvious choice to not say goodbye or thank you or anything to me.
The year before last, I gave her a hug and told her I was happy they came. She left her arms hanging down and didn't hug me back or say anything at all. So now I end up saying, "Thanks for coming" as they walk away ... then feel stupid for giving them the courtesy that they never give me. This has happened the last three years in our house. Would I be out of line to tell them, "If you don't like me, then get the hell out of my house, and I don't give a rat's behind if I never see you again"? I'm furious because I realize I'm holding back harsh words out of respect for my partner. But I have had enough! What do I do?
GENTLE READER: Well, what about that respect for your partner, who evidently wants to continue to entertain his family in what is, after all, his home too? And what about the aspect of your self-respect that has to do with your behaving decently even when others do not?
It is not Miss Manners to whom you should be appealing. Of course she thinks ignoring you is horribly rude; equally, of course, she is not going to countenance your being horribly rude.
But where is your partner in all this? Could he get his mother under control? If not, would he be willing to give up the family Thanksgiving? If he pleads with you to put up with it once a year for his sake, Miss Manners hopes that he is equally forbearing about something that matters to you.