Lol I still love Sami bringing it up. The entire town is like it's been decades and we are cool with that, but not our Sami She will just bring it up casually on the reg. I wish she'd sell Belle on the black market again
Yes, he definitely did adore them and never lost sight of them as endgame. And the series of "punishments" they endured also helpfully gave the other characters a chance to plausibly forgive and start rooting for them.
Except Sami of course. She has never fully forgiven them.
Perhaps, and that's where the devil/religion came into play, but I don't think he lost sight of the endgame in Jarlena ever. It's clear he adored them.
And Good god Marlena has suffered more than most for [!@#$%^&*] on a conference room table and marrying that man approximately 20 years ago