Sitting in the audience and watching Arquette dance his heart out week after week, there were two things you couldn't miss: First was the joy on the face of his 7-year-old daughter, Coco, and second were the tears in the eyes of Cox, 47, who sat ringside. "I like that people hope for us," says Arquette, 40. "But it really is time to move on."
The two married in 1999; they formally separated in October 2010. "It's been more than a year," says Arquette. "And I think to a certain extent when a woman gets to a place [where she doesn't want to be married], it's really hard to ever get back."
"We love each other deeply," he continues. "We're really connected as friends, we're connected for life. But it's not like that [romantic love] any longer. She feels for me, she cares about me. And I care about her. When she was directing her episode of Cougar Town, I was really nervous for her, and we met and talked about it. We're very supportive of each other. But when romance dies, it changes the dynamic of a relationship."
Arquette quickly got a reputation off the dance floor for his sweetness, goofiness and candor, especially about his recent struggle with alcoholism and depression. He checked himself into rehab on January 1 and says dancing has been a boon to his 10 months of sobriety, getting him into shape and keeping him focused. "What I had to overcome was my general clumsiness, because I'm not the most graceful of people," he says. "But I'm learning grace through this process. I'm learning control and I'm learning balance. Those are all themes within my life."
What is the best thing he took away from the experience? On Monday night, after doing his cha cha, "I was called a dancer," he says proudly, referring to the comments by head judge Len Goodman. "So at least I can go home with my head held high."