updated 11/09/2013 AT 4:00 PM ET
•originally published 11/09/2013 AT 5:15 PM ET
Courtney Stodden was just 16 when she and Doug Hutchison, then 51, blissfully wed in 2011. Yet now, just days after their split, the aspiring country singer says she finally sees why people were so concerned about the teen bride’s marriage to a man 35 years her senior.
“I got that it is unconventional but I didn’t get how weird and strange that it came across,” the now 19-year-old tells E! in a new interview, adding that she “definitely” understands it now.
The smiling Stodden opened up about the reasons for their separation, admitting that one huge factor was, “my age, obviously.”
She said the turning point in their relationship happened when she traveled overseas to take part in Celebrity Big Brother UK, which was the first time she went more than 24 hours without seeing her Lost actor husband.
“I was missing him, but not intimately,” she says. “I couldn’t neglect my desires and wanting to embrace my independence and my freedom.”
She said it was stressful while married to Hutchison, since the union caused his friends, family and work associates to drop the actor and “put a pin” in his career.
“I became his world,” she says. “I just felt like there was a lot of weight on my shoulders.
Now, she admits to feeling lighter post-split.
“I am happy and I am excited,” she says. “I feel like a little girl again, just being able to start over. At 16, I got my marriage license instead of my driver’s license. Come on.”