An exact pulse for the parametrically forced nonlinear Schrödinger equation ~NLS! is isolated. The equation governs wave envelope propagation in dispersion-managed fiber lines with positive residual dispersion. The pulse is obtained as a ground state of an averaged variational principle associated with the equation governing pulse dynamics. The solutions of the averaged and original equations are shown to stay close for a sufficiently long time. A properly adjusted pulse will therefore exhibit nearly periodic behavior in the time interval of validity of the averaging procedure. Furthermore, we show that periodic variation of dispersion can stabilize spatial solitons in a Kerr medium and one-dimensional solitons in the NLS with quintic nonlinearity. The results are confirmed by numerical simulations.