Ethan Plath and Olivia Plath, both 22, tied the knot in 2018. The young couple from TLC’s Welcome to Plathville met at a Christian summer camp when they were just 16 years old, and they were thrilled to spend the rest of their lives together.
But Olivia and Ethan’s relationship hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows since then. Ethan’s parents, Kim and Barry Plath, started to distrust their daughter-in-law after she began to go against the strict Plath family rules – such as refusing to eat sugar, dressing in very modest clothing, and abstaining from alcohol. The in-law drama strained the newlyweds’ relationship nearly to its breaking point.
On the Nov. 17 episode of Welcome to Plathville season 2, Ethan opened up about his marital troubles with Olivia after going no-contact with his parents.
Ethan said problems with his parents had strained his marriage almost beyond repair at some points
Ethan admitted that his first two years of marriage had been much harder than he anticipated. According to Olivia, the young couple even considered divorce at one point for several months.
“Olivia and I have definitely had our share of rough times in our relationship lately,” Ethan said sadly on the most recent Welcome to Plathville episode. “I know Olivia’s frame of mind right now is that she’s really hurt by a lot of things that have happened over the past year.”
The problems began when it became clear that Ethan’s parents no longer approved of Olivia. In fact, they told Ethan he could visit their family farm anytime he liked – as long as his wife didn’t accompany him. The lack of trust began to erode not only Ethan’s relationship with his parents, but with his wife as well.
The ‘Welcome to Plathville’ star admitted he played a major role in the couple’s issues
As for his own role in the family conflict, Ethan confessed that he wasn’t at all blameless. In an attempt to “keep the peace,” he was sometimes afraid to stick up for Olivia in the face of his parents’ negative comments about her. This led to arguments between the pair, as Olivia wondered if she could truly trust her husband to be on her team.
“I feel like a lot of the strain in our relationship came from instances where I was not standing up for my wife or having her back,” the Welcome to Plathville star admitted. He added that he deeply regretted not telling his parents, point blank, not to speak to his wife like they did.
In the end, Olivia and Ethan decided to fight for their marriage. To do so, they realized they would have to extricate themselves from the Plath family altogether, at least temporarily. Now, Ethan explained, they were on a “no-contact basis” with Kim and Barry. His relationship with his siblings was also suffering and nearly non-existent as a result.
Olivia’s husband committed to continue ‘trying’ to make their marriage work
While Ethan felt the decision to separate himself from his parents in order to rebuild his relationship with Olivia was worth it, the Welcome to Plathville star knew that he and Olivia were still not on solid footing in terms of their relationship. The two years of in-law conflict had made things entirely rocky between them, and they still weren’t sure how to communicate effectively in the wake of all the drama.
As for the future of his marriage, Ethan seemed hopeful – but not entirely convinced – that he and Olivia would go the long haul.
Referencing his love of restoring classic cars, Ethan quipped, “A car from 1930 or from 2020, you can find a service manual or something. But Olivia doesn’t come with one of those.”
As he repaired an old motorcycle, hoping it would one day function perfectly again, Ethan reflected on the work he needed to put into his marriage if it had any hope of surviving.
“I am a hundred percent confident that I will get the bike fixed and on the road,” Ethan asserted. “But as far as the marriage goes…well, I’m going to keep trying.”
Olivia appeared to share similar sentiments, admitting that she and Ethan were working on things – but not “there” yet, by any means.