Why would he say "I Love You" Now That He's Married?

A long time ago, I had a intimate relationship with a coworker/assoc. friend. An old coworker told me he was getting married. I called him after he got married to congratulate him. When I called, the first thing he asked me "Are you married?" I said "No" he proceeded to tell me he was. "Funny that's why I called". We talked about how he met her, the wedding, etc. Here and there stuff. The conversation took a turn. I had apologized about something that happened when were together. I thought nothing of it. I was trying to be respectful of his marriage. I treaded lightly about talking about our past. I knew how I affected him. We had very good chemistry. Matter of fact, it was the only thing I brought up from our past. But, I had to get it off my chest. He accepted my apology and proceeded to tell me he did not regret being with me or judge me in anyway. And, his only regret he did not call me when I told to do so. He said "I should have called you." I didn't ask why because I didn't want to engage in our past. I just wanted to apologize and that's it. It was a small conversation we had in the past before my mom died. Our communication was here and there. I ended our rapport for a reason back then. Too long to explain. Life happened. I'm single. He's married. There was a short quiet pause in the conversation. All of a sudden he said "I love you" I was taken back and consciously said I loved him too. I felt a certain kind of way "he was married" but I say it. And, then, he caught himself and said in a shy nervous tone "You know like a sister" I said "I know" I went along with it script. But I knew. He told me he missed me. I said I did too. And we sat on the phone briefly quiet. We ended the call with him talking about me meeting his wife one day, etc. I was like yeah but knew it wouldn't be a good idea. Why would he say "I love you" now while married when he never said it when we were together? Something I tend to wonder but not have an answer?
Why would he say "I Love You" Now That He's Married?
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