"I assumed he was a homophobic chauvinist, a bigot who killed people," she says in an interview for In Style magazine's March issue, on newsstands Friday. "And later I felt saddened by my assumptions because I wondered how many times had I written off people who truly were real."
Of James, she now says: "I finally felt I had a net for the real me."
Bullock, 42, and the 37-year-old James, who hosts The Discovery Channel's "Monster Garage," married in California in July 2005. Many in Hollywood had been surprised at the odd coupling of the tattooed, tough guy James and the girl-next-door Bullock. They met in 2003, reports AP.
The star of the upcoming Sony Pictures thriller "Premonition" says she aims to "be as cognizant of nurturing" her marriage as she is focused on her career.
"You know how you see sweet relationships not work because of time spent apart? Going for more than five days without seeing Jesse is hard," she tells the magazine.
"People are so good at attending to their jobs, their plants, their pets. Why is it that when it comes to a relationship, we just sort of go, oh, it's here. It should just work. It doesn't!"
And please, she says, do not ask her why she is not pregnant.
"How many times do people say, `So when are you going to have kids?'
"Can I slap you now?"