The 51-year-old Australian actress said in the Oct. 15 issue of New York Magazine that her relationship with Cruise "cocooned" her from sexual harassment during her early career.
"I got married very young, but it definitely wasn't power for me -- it was protection," Kidman told the publication.
"I married for love, but being married to an extremely powerful man kept me from being sexually harassed. I would work, but I was still very much cocooned. So when I came out of it at 32, 33, it's almost like I had to grow up," she said.
Kidman met Cruise on the set of Days of Thunder in 1989 and married the actor at age 23 the next year. The pair split in 2001 and Kidman married country star Keith Urban in June 2006.
"Being married to Tom Cruise at 22 is something I'm always reluctant to talk about, because I'm married now to the man who is my great love and it almost feels disrespectful," she said in the interview.
Kidman and Urban performed a sweet duet to the singer's song "Female" on International Day of the Girl last week. The couple's daughters, 10-year-old Sunday and 7-year-old Faith, filmed the moment, which Kidman shared on Instagram.
"As a father and also a husband, I recorded it for my wife as well as my daughters, and also for my mom and all the women in my life," Urban previously told The Boot. "It's a song of hope, and of what we want for our girls and all women."