I got married directly after high school, in essence to escape a crappy childhood. Turns out, I jumped from the frying pan to the fire. Two years into the marriage, I came up pregant, and two years after becoming a mother it became quite clear that things weren't working.
My family was very supportive with my decision, with my father loaning me money for the legal fees. Even buying furniture to replace what my ex took away (which turned out to be quite a bit). Financially, my job gave me the security I needed, by quite literally putting a roof over our heads. Being forced to rely on my income alone has also helped me to become more responsible fiscally.
One thing that helped me work through the emotional upheaval was exercise, working off the frustration! And let me tell you, looking good is the best revenge. My turning point was when I learned that being single was not a tragedy. I needed to take care of myself in order to be a health counterpart in a relationship. I am complete by myself, and having someone in my life would complement my life, not make it whole.
I feel like my life only truly began after my divorce. That experience played a part in making me the person I am today, and I like who I am. I won't settle either. Eight years later, I am still single (with a few serious relationships since). I'm in no rush to remarry, I'd rather do it right the next time and have it be a lasting relationship.
I have to say I like the term Starter Wife. My ex is currently on his third wife, and I've jokingly referred to myself as Ex #1.
-- Cary Ellard