09/25/2012 at 03:00 PM EDT
is happily married these days, but looking back, she didn't believe such a feeling would be possible.
"I didn't think marriage worked," she tells More
in its October issue cover story. "I thought everybody who was married was secretly miserable – that it was something they just put up with for their children."
But since saying "I do" to French billionaire
François-Henri Pinault on Valentine's Day of 2009, the actress, 46, sees things very differently.
"I have a master of decision-making helping me out, so of course my life and my career are better," she explains.
"I really enjoy having somebody that I can be weak with. If I'm insecure or afraid, I can talk about it, and he'll give me strength and courage. With us, there's no power struggle. I don't mind doing things for him because he does so much for me, and he feels the same way."
Hayek, who gave birth to the couple's daughter Valentina
, 5, in 2007, is a devoted mom, but she also makes personal time for herself and Pinault.
Teasing that she has texts which "would surprise you," Hayek goes on to say, "I can show you a thousand things. But I'm not going to."