Jesse James says his split from Sandra Bullock was a "lesson" and that he misses Louis, her son that they had initially adopted together.
James, a 42-year-old motorcycle customizer and former host of the Discovery Channel series "Monster Garage," made his comments in several press interviews to promote his memoir, "American Outlaw," which was released on Tuesday, May 3.
He and Bullock, 46, married in 2005. The two split in March 2010 amid reports James had cheated on Bullock, which he later confirmed. The Oscar-winning actress filed for divorce in April 2010 and it was finalized that June. James is currently engaged to tattoo artist and reality star Kat Von D."I think, you know, a marriage ending, all this crazy stuff ... that was like a lesson to work on myself and fix what's wrong with me," James told ABC News.
"I knew I would get caught eventually and I think I wanted to get caught," he added. "It was me trying to self-sabotage my life."
Months after the divorce, James closed up his West Coast Choppers motorcycle shop in Southern California, where he had lived with Bullock, and moved permanently to Texas.
Bullock, meanwhile, spends a lot of her time at her home in New Orleans with Louis. She and James had brought the boy home in January 2010. After their split, she announced she would raise him as a single parent.
James says Louis is not included in his memoir, as talking about him "almost felt too intimate," People magazine reported, quoting him as saying: "He is so sweet and I miss him."
"You know, the painful stuff, like with Louie ... I could only cry so much about him until I have to, like, suck it up and keep a stiff upper lip, and realize, hey, I have three kids that I do have," James told ABC News.
Among the issues James does discuss in his book - his month-long stint at a rehab center in Arizona in late March 2010, when he and Bullock split, to treat childhood and anger management issues.
James has three children from previous relationships - Chandler, Jesse Jr. and Sunny.
"I think we're all connecting better," James told ABC News. "I think for the first time in their lives, they can depend on me to be there and I think the life here is better, you know, for the family."
In September 2010, after the divorce, James stepped out in public with Von D and the two confirmed they were in a relationship. In January, the two announced they were engaged.
"My angel, my all, my other self," James Tweeted to Von D on Tuesday, May 3. :"I'm so lucky and honored you don't even know how it makes me feel."
Von D has said she does not mind critics of her relationship with James and told OnTheRedCarpet.com after the two stepped out together: "People are going to say whatever they're going to say. They've criticized every relationship I've ever been in."
Watch ABC News' interview with Jesse James on Wednesday, May 4, on "Good Morning America," and then see more on "Nightline" at 11:35 p.m. ET. Check out a sneak peek video below.