"I want her to be happy," the actor said Thursday on The Oprah Winfrey Show. "If me being the best person I can be doesn't make her happy in a partner, in who she needs, whatever she's looking for, that's still to be answered."
Arquette adds that he doesn't know if his and Cox's marriage can be repaired, but, "I'd love for it to work out."
Only a few weeks out of rehab, Arquette, 39, told Winfrey that he grew up in a chaotic environment and started using drugs and alcohol before he was even a teenager. He had his first sip of beer at age 4, stole pot from his father at age 8 and started drinking heavily at age 12, he said.
As a result, he said, he developed into a person who wanted to please people and ended up not being true to himself. In trying to be "the perfect husband," he wasn't happy, and that caused him to drink more, though he remained in denial about his substance abuse.
Cox responded by calling out her husband's over-the-top behavior and telling him, "I'm not attracted to you right now," according to Arquette.
The pair married in 1999 and had a daughter, Coco, now 6. They separated last fall. "She said, 'I don't want to be your mother anymore,'" Arquette said, quoting Cox. "I felt really sort of abandoned at that point."
He was further upset when tabloids claimed Cox was having an affair. Though the stories weren't true, "I was bitter about it," he said. "I was angry with the dynamic of our relationship. I was angry with my wife."
'I'm Not a Cheater'The couple had separated and were living in different houses when Arquette met a waitress and admitted having an affair with her, though he told Winfrey that being labeled a cheater enraged him, because he and Cox were not together at that point. "My blood just boiled," he said. "That is one thing I am not."
Arquette's drinking and drug abuse continued until his sister Patricia Arquette, Cox and others staged an intervention. "I needed help anyway," he said, and was ready to go through the 28-day program.
Now sober since Dec. 30, he said, Arquette lives alone in a Los Angeles home, does yoga and meditation, attends therapy sessions, works on his clothing line and other business ventures, and sees Coco a few days a week. "I'm being responsible," he said. "I'm finally authentic."
As for his strained marriage, Arquette said he'd like to make it work.
"We truly love each other with all our hearts," he said. Whether it's as friends or as husband and wife, "I know that I'll be with her my whole life."
Arquette added that Cox has "been incredibly supportive. She's my best friend, and I love her with all my heart."
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