I think this excerpt shows that the stepmom practiced some very MB techniques and they worked for her. She showed him how she loved him and "love grew over time". She filled his ENs; hopefully he filled hers as well. There are probably other parts to the story that were behind the mother leaving: maybe AS was her #1 need. Maybe the Dad didn't practice MB techniques with his first wife and maybe the only reason he did so with wife #2 was because she modeled them for him.

It's a classic case of how 'fake it 'til you make it' *can* work!