Tom loved Daisy in different ways at different times in their relationship, but he did love her in his own way. Tom admitted, "Once in a while I go off on a spree and make a fool of myself, but I always come back, and in my heart I love her all the time."
In the beginning, Tom probably loved Daisy because she appeared as a prize to be won. He was a wealthy Chicago native whose glory days were behind him even then; he'd been an outstanding college football player but didn't seem to have any purpose for the rest of his life. Nick "felt that Tom would drift on forever seeking, a little wistfully, for the dramatic turbulence of some irrecoverable football game."
Tom's searching for excitement and purpose led him to various relationships, some more intense than others. Through them all, however, Daisy remained his 'trophy wife' as the beautiful and rich woman who made him feel strong and important by depending on him to protect her when she most needed protection.