The 'Big Little Lies' actress thinks her 50-year-old husband has given her a ''beautiful offering'' in wanting to be the stronger half of their relationship because it means she is able to stay sensitive and in touch with her emotions.
She said: ''Well, Keith always says to me, 'You stay raw and sensitive, and I'll buffer things for you', which is a beautiful offering.
''He is always told, 'You're so tough.' And he says, 'That's not what I want for you, Nicole. You don't need to get a thick skin.'
''I think, for me, it's about having a place that's safe to nurture you, where the tears can be shed. That way I can actually go back open and curious and willing.
''And at times scarred and a little damaged, but not with a sword like, 'I'm seeking revenge.' Because that just doesn't interest me. I actually never choose films that are about revenge. I choose films, I've realised, about women who somehow find their way through.''
The 50-year-old actress - who has Isabella, 24, and Connor, 22, with ex-husband Tom Cruise, and Sunday, nine, and six-year-old Faith with Keith - has always been a ''sensitive'' person and has always spent a lot of time dwelling on her feelings.
She admitted in the new issue of America's Glamour magazine: ''My mother said I was always an intense child, a very sensitive child. So that probably helped the emotions to be very present.
''I was just a big thinker. I would evaluate and analyse and feel and cry and discuss and be angry. All of those emotions were very surface for me.''
The 'Lion' actress is impressed her daughter wants to grow up to be a director, but is aware it won't be as easy as the youngster believes.
She said: ''My nine-year-old daughter wants to be a director right now. Her whole attitude is 'The world's my oyster.' She doesn't realise that it's actually not.''
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