updated 04/28/2010 AT 12:50 PM ET
•originally published 04/28/2010 AT 10:00 AM ET
As Sandra Bullock shares her decision to file for divorce from husband Jesse James and adopt son Louis as a single mom, James tells PEOPLE he has a “huge hole” in his heart, but understands:
“My whole life has been full of hard decisions.
“The decision to let my wife end our marriage, and continue the adoption of Louis on her own, has been the hardest. The love I have for Louis cannot be put to words. Not having him around to love and to hold has left a huge hole in my heart.
“Sandy is the love of my life, but considering the pain and devastation I have caused her, it would be selfish to not let her go. Right now it is time for me to beat this addiction that has taken two of the things I love the most in life.
“I have always taken great pride in proving people wrong. That time has come once again to show that I am not what everyone says I am. I know in my heart that I can be the best father possible to my four children, and the mate Sandy deserves, and realize that this is an incredible mountain to climb. But I believe that the steps I have taken in the last 30 days are the foundation for making this happen. The lifelong commitment I am making is what being a real husband and father is all about.
“I ask that you please do not judge Sandy for the things I have done. She has done no wrong. She played no part in any of this. She has been an amazing wife, mother, and best friend, for the over 6 years we have been together.”
For much more on this story – including photos of Bullock with Louis and an emotional interview about her breakup with James and her life as a new mom – pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday