MIL#4...the mother-in-law from hell.
This one takes my breath away. I'm not even sure where to start. If you want to really understand the definition of the word "mean-spirited", meeting this lady would give it to you. I've never met anyone, before or since, who is as cold-hearted, cruel, calculating, controlling, and manipulative.
I said once to my then husband and her son: "I believe that, to make this woman the way she is, there may be two scenarios that played out in her life, one or the other-- 1) either she was absolutely spoiled rotten as a child to an extreme, 2) or she suffered something very traumatic during her childhood, something deep and mentally life changing, such as sexual abuse."
During the course of a phone conversation, one of this woman's own sons stated: "I don't think anyone could get along with my mother."
I think the best thing to do for MIL#4 is to skip all the minute ugly details and simply start with a list of what I've learned from this woman:
1. Having a child does not mean that you will control this individual's life for the rest of their life.
2. Never use money as a reward/punishment tool with your children, not even (and especially) when they are adults.
3. Words can be used as weapons, and once spoken, they cannot be taken back.
4. Never deliberately belittle and embarrass your child in public, or ahead of their spouse or partner.
5. Just because you might not understand another person's lifestyle or spiritual path, don't jump to negative conclusions, and don't pass judgment.
6. Compassion, a sense of humor, and empathy are gifts that not everyone is fortunate enough to be endowed with; if you have these gifts, embrace them.
7. Kindness can impact the world, and those who are touched by it, in magical empowering uplifting ways. Never miss an opportunity to spread a little kindness.
8. Love your child enough to let go; love your child enough to let them make their own mistakes in order to learn and grow; love your child enough to trust their choices; love your child enough to support them in their endeavors and daily lives.