I feel so genuinely sorry for all of you with toxic in-laws! I can't imagine how unbearable that must be. We live two blocks away from my in-laws and it's never been a problem (I told her if she had been Marie Barone, we never would have moved in lol!). She's the type that apologizes if she makes even the smallest suggestion/criticism (and I use the word criticism very lightly). For example - asking if my kids need a heavier coat because it's colder out (and then apologizing for over-stepping her bounds). The majority of these rare times, she's right, so I always tell her so.
10 years of marriage and not one major problem - incidentally, having two sons myself, she has definitely taught me by example how to act toward my own future daughter-in-laws!
This is totally my MIL and I! She's really wonderful and I'm lucky to have her. If there is a mother that's cray cray - it's my OWN mom!! Dear lord, she's self-centered and anxious... Like in an annoying way. Always worrying about herself, how SHE looks, is being seen, etc. My sister and I have a strained relationship with her (also lots of past drama, too long to go into), and my niece is 9 months old and my mom has not met her yet.
Ha! That's funny because it's my mom that is the one causing drama in our family! I apologize to my husband that he was the one who ended up with the bad mother-in-law (my amazing father makes up for her). But actually, he doesn't talk to her very much and they have a nice, polite relationship - it's my relationship with her that is constantly tested because she is one of those people who does nothing but criticize. My husband was laughing at me one night because I would hold up a finger each time she would say something critical about me, my life, how I'm raising my kids, etc. In a three minute phone conversation, I heard 5 critical comments. I love her and she's always there for me, but more often than not, when the phone rings (as it does at least two or three times a day) I don't answer.
Most recent criticism - we never stop by her house to "visit" after I pick up my kids from school (we drive by their neighborhood on the way home - as a side note, we drive by my MIL's house and we never stop to visit her either, so why would we stop there?). Never mind that we have to get the boys snacks, do homework, and get them to tae kwon do (between the two of them, they have something everyday), so when am I supposed to work in this magical visiting time? They stop by my house one night a week while my husband is at work, so we see them often. And I more often than not, don't get out at night, so "visiting" is out then.
As I stated earlier - I've learned by example how to act with future daughter-in-law because of my MILs excellent example, but I've learned by example how NOT to act with my future daughter as a result of my own mother. Luckily I have my dad's personality, so I don't think it will be an issue (although I do catch myself - and stop myself - from saying something mom-like once every few months).