Kim and Barry Plath of TLC’s Welcome to Plathville aren’t exactly known for being entirely forthcoming with their nine kids when it comes to sex and dating. The Christian fundamentalist couple insists on strict rules for their children, including modesty and abstinence before marriage.
On recent episodes of Welcome to Plathville season 2, 17-year-old Moriah Plath and 19-year-old Micah Plath confronted their parents about their lack of knowledge about sexuality before they moved out of the house. And on the Nov. 17 episode, 22-year-old Ethan Plath revealed during a disagreement with his wife, Olivia Plath, that he didn’t even know what a menstrual cycle was until they started dating.
Olivia got irritated with Ethan while he tried to cook breakfast for the first time
Olivia and Ethan started to bicker over breakfast on a recent episode of Welcome to Plathville. Olivia, who works as a professional wedding photographer, explained that she was under a lot of stress amid the COVID-19 crisis. Pandemic-related cancellations had led her to lose nearly all of her income, and she was trying to take the downtime to rebrand.
So when her husband decided to try to cook breakfast on his own for the first time ever while she worked at her laptop, Olivia wasn’t exactly amused.
“I’m trying to work,” she complained, “and Ethan’s not really skilled at reading people or reading a room.”
The Welcome to Plathville star was visibly irritated with her husband as he bustled around the kitchen, asking questions and cracking jokes.
“I feel like it’s weird for you,” Olivia explained of her frustration, “because when you go to work, you leave the house in your car, you go to an office, and you’re there all day long.”
But as for Olivia, she explained, all of her work was at home – at least for the moment. Olivia asked her husband to try to respect and understand that.
“How would you feel if you were working,” she asked, “and somebody was there talking to you the whole time and trying to make you laugh and telling jokes, but you needed to finish a project and get it done and hone in on that?”
The 22-year-old apologized for being annoyed and said she felt ‘hormonal’
Ethan didn’t seem sure just how to respond to his wife’s frustration at first. Eventually, Olivia began to break down. With tears in her eyes, she explained that cramps and PMS were making her feel more irritable than usual.
“I feel really bad,” the Welcome to Plathville star told Ethan tearfully, adding that it was “just horrible timing” for him to try to make a meal for the first time. “I’m about to cry. It’s so stupid. But my period started this morning, and I’m really hormonal, and I have stomach cramps.”
Looking baffled and shocked, Ethan said simply, “I forgot about that.”
“You try having a period,” Olivia joked as her husband drew her in for a hug and apologized for not thinking of her needs more. Ethan promised to take her job into consideration more often, and to try to “read the room” more effectively.
Ethan admitted he had no idea what a period was
Like Micah and Moriah in an earlier Welcome to Plathville episode, Ethan admitted that he didn’t feel his parents had prepared him to understand much in the way of sex, sexuality, or even anatomy. In fact, he never knew what a menstrual cycle was until he started dating his wife at age 18 – even though he had six sisters.
“Out of all the kids – there were six girls, three boys – I never knew that there was such a thing as a period, until I was dating Olivia,” Ethan confessed. Laughing about his ignorance, Ethan shook his head in surprise.
When producers asked the 22-year-old how he made it to adulthood without understanding what a menstrual cycle was, he admitted he wasn’t quite sure.
“They just kept it to themselves somehow,” he said of his sisters and mom. “Even with that many girls in a small house, I had no idea that that was even a thing. I thought maybe they had a nosebleed or something.”
In fact, Olivia had to teach her husband about periods after they both became adults – which is exemplary of many aspects of their relationship, in which she had to educate her relatively sheltered husband.