The Plath parents raised their nine children in a Christian fundamentalist homeschooling setting outside of the influence of pop culture, social media, and much of the modern world. After Ethan and Olivia tied the knot in 2018, Kim and Barry weren’t thrilled with what they saw as their daughter-in-law’s attempts to help her husband break away from his conservative upbringing.
In a Welcome to Plathville season 2 interview, “Barry’s Story,” the Plath family patriarch opened up about his ongoing issues with his older kids – several of whom have begun to push back against their parents’ allegedly “controlling” behavior.
Barry said he was worried about the ‘path’ his kids might follow in life
In his Welcome to Plathville interview, Barry opened up about his marriage of over three decades to Kim, whom he married just months after they started dating. Although some families with beliefs similar to the Plaths’ adhere to patriarchal family hierarchies, Barry explained that his own marriage was a “two-way street.”
The Welcome to Plathville star went on to explain that parenting was an ongoing journey and a “process,” not a single destination – so he and his wife constantly needed each other’s input.
As for their current place along that journey, Barry admitted there were some obstacles to overcome. While Barry and Kim raised their children with particular beliefs and in a specific lifestyle, several of them appeared to be veering from that drastically.
“There is a bit of concern about, ‘What path are they going want to down?’” Barry mused. “What decisions are they going to want to make that Kim and I are maybe like, ‘You sure you want to do that?’”
The father of nine said Ethan was ‘bitter and unforgiving’ toward him
Ethan’s marriage to Olivia, in particular, had shaken up the Plath family dynamics. According to Barry, they weren’t always sure what to do now that Ethan and Olivia had completely cut off all contact with Ethan’s parents.
“Now that our oldest Ethan is married, there are certain things that just have, in an overnight sense, changed the dynamics of the family,” the Welcome to Plathville star said. “I have Ethan, that’s been transformed somebody who’s bitter and unforgiving toward me.”
Barry and Kim also recently kicked out their older teens – 19-year-old Micah Plath and 17-year-old Moriah Plath – for breaking some of the family rules. As a father, Barry confessed that it sometimes hurt to know that Micah and Moriah wanted to “go out and explore beyond what [they] provided for a home environment.”
The ‘Welcome to Plathville’ star hoped that the family would come together again eventually
Both Kim and Barry have spoken out about how much their children’s “bitterness and resentment” toward them affects them. They have even worried about allowing Ethan, Micah, and Moriah access to their young siblings, lest they affect their brothers’ and sisters’ perspectives on their parenting style.
“It does weigh heavy on my heart, but it just emphasizes the unseen bitterness right now,” Barry said sadly of the family-wide estrangement – what with the Plath family now divided into four separate households. “I just don’t know how to resolve it.”
While the Plaths’ dad admitted that he was ultimately at a loss as to what to do next, he had some hope and optimism that the family could make their way back to each other eventually. At least, that was what he longed for.
“Love has got to conquer this somehow, some way,” the Welcome to Plathville star declared. “Love has got to prevail.”