Arquette and Cox met on the set of Scream (1996), where they played a couple before becoming romantically involved in real life.
They married in 2009 before separating in 2010 and divorcing in 2013. They have an 18-year-old daughter together.
During an interview on SiriusXM’s Andy Cohen Live, the eponymous host asked the actor if he ever struggled in his relationship with Cox “based on how successful” the NBC sitcom was when they were together.
“Yeah, absolutely. It’s difficult,” he said. “... I have some of the traditional male things where I want to like, you know, provide and pick up the cheque and, you know, be the breadwinner.”
He continued: “In the acting world in general, you’re always going on this rollercoaster of popularity and, you know, not able to get a job.
“And then when you’re, you know, comparing yourself to someone who’s at the, you know, top of the television, iconic world, it’s kinda hard to put yourself there, so there was definitely like learning and dealing with that and a lot of pain and, you know, arguments or, you know, ego, early on.”
In the last two seasons of Friends, all six main cast members were earning $1m per episode, making them the highest-paid TV actors of the time.
Cox and Arquette recently reprised their Scream roles for Scream V last year.
“It’s a cathartic experience to just be able to act opposite Courteney,” Arquette told The New York Times at the time. “It’s been 25 years of our lives. We’ve grown up together. We have a child together.”
The actor previously praised Scream’s original director Wes Craven for setting him and Cox up: “Thank God for Wes Craven because I got a baby out of it.”
Cox has been dating Snow Patrol musician Johnny McDaid since 2013 after being introduced by their mutual friend, Ed Sheeran.
Arquette has since welcomed two children with wife Christina McLarty, whom he married in 2015.