Since leaving the California home she shared with James and canceling her appearance at the European premiere of "The Blind Side," Bullock has been staying out of sight, most likely at her secluded compound near Austin, Texas. Divorce, for now, is not imminent. Her rep told ABCNews.com that reports Bullock was interviewing divorce lawyers are "completely false."
Word of Bullock's marital problems surfaced just days after her greatest professional triumph -- the Oscar for best actress for her role in "The Blind Side." Many Americans may not even have known before then that she was married to James. Now they have been inundated with stories of the couple's problems.
Over the weekend, photographs surfaced of McGee wearing a Nazi hat and swastika armband.
But Rob Shuter, who writes the Naughty but Nice column for Popeater.com, says he thinks the public humiliation doesn't bother Bullock as much as the private heartbreak.
"She has a strong moral compass of right and wrong," Shuter said. "She left the business for a while because she wasn't getting great roles. This isn't a woman who just floats through life. She decides."
"Sandra has never played the little wife," Shuter said. "In all her relationships, she was always in the driver's seat. She has her own career. She's a much bigger star than Jesse. She has enough money that she can leave this marriage."
Bullock may have to pay up in the end. Shuter said there are conflicting reports about whether she had a prenup that would have protected her reported $100 million fortune. Last year, Bullock was named No. 6 on Forbes' list of the highest paid actresses.
More than money, though, Bullock stands to lose contact with her 6-year-old stepdaughter Sunny, James daughter with his second wife, porn star Janine Lindemulder. James won custody of Sunny in December after a bitter months-long dispute.
Can Bullock Leave Stepdaughter?
But Bullock never adopted Sunny and has no legal rights to the child. "Sandra Bullock is not a party to this litigation," James' attorney, Marilyn Slifman, said in a statement to People magazine in November.
Slifman declined to comment to ABCNews.com for this story.
Bullock, however, curtailed her career to help raise Sunny and even wrote a letter to the judge during the custody battle.
"I know the term 'stepmother' carries many connotations, one of them being 'glorified babysitter,'" Bullock wrote. "My commitment and responsibility to Sunny ... goes beyond that."
"She took on this girl as if she were her own daughter," Shuter said. "The girl has been flourishing. That is now in shatters."
Lindemulder could also try to use James' personal troubles against him in the next custody hearing in June.
"Without a doubt, it's going to benefit the case," Lindemulder's husband, Jeremy Aikman, told ABCNews.com. "That just goes to show the guy's morals. I mean, what is he teaching his daughter?"
Aikman is a convicted felon, while Lindemulder went to prison for tax evasion. James sought custody of Sunny in part because he found the duo unfit to parent.
Despite Bullock's close connection to her stepdaughter, talk show host Wendy Williams encouraged the actress to leave her marriage. "Run, run, run," Williams said on her show Monday.
But fellow Oscar winner Mo'Nique took a more measured approach, telling "Entertainment Tonight" she was praying for Bullock -- and her husband.
"I don't wish her nothing but happiness, along with her husband. ... I don't want to see any marriages dissolve or break up," said the comedian. "I hope ya'll make it work."
Perhaps Bullock can check out other famous wives to see whether they chose to stay or go. ABCNews.com rounded up a few of them:
Elin Nordegren and Tiger Woods: