Ethan’s strict, Christian fundamentalist parents, Kim and Barry Plath, were over the moon at first. But as Olivia drifted further away from the religion both she and her new husband had been raised in, things quickly soured between Olivia and her in-laws. Eventually, the young couple decided to go no-contact with the Plath family for now in order to save their own marriage.
In TLC’s recent Welcome to Plathville segment, “Ethan’s Story,” Ethan looked back at his love story with his wife. He reflected on how they met – and how differently they felt about each other at first.
Ethan and Olivia met as teens
Olivia and Ethan met in North Carolina at a summer camp for Christian homeschooling families. Both of them were just 16 years old at the time, and both came from large families with similar faith backgrounds and cultural values.
Ethan said he was bowled over by his future wife’s beauty from the very beginning. The Welcome to Plathville star was immediately enraptured by the fellow teen, and he made his feelings for her very obvious.
“I always thought of her as elegant,” Ethan gushed about Olivia. “When I saw her for the first time, I was just like, ‘Oh, wow. Without a doubt, that’s the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen.’ The moment I saw her, I lost my appetite for two weeks. I was in deep. Those were some powerful emotions.”
Olivia wasn’t a big fan of Ethan at first
While Ethan had no doubts at all about how he felt about Olivia, she didn’t feel the same way. In fact, she thought of her fellow camper as fairly annoying and immature – especially because he followed her around every chance he got, trying to get her attention.
“She did not like me at first,” Ethan said, “and I don’t blame her.”
Calling his younger self “annoying” and “goofy,” the Welcome to Plathville star admitted that he thought the best way to catch Olivia’s eye was to joke around constantly. In response, Olivia thought of him as something of a loudmouth.
Later, after Ethan and Olivia began dating, she admitted that she had a bit of a crush of her own at first. But Ethan was so aggressive and overboard with his obvious crush that it “pushed her away.”
The ‘Welcome to Plathville’ stars eventually reconnected through handwritten letters
Despite their differences, Olivia and Ethan found they had a lot in common. They came from similar families with nearly identical beliefs, but both of them were questioning their faith and considering their future carefully.
The Welcome to Plathville stars didn’t see each other in person for two and a half years. But they kept their budding romance alive by writing letters back and forth. Ethan’s growing maturity shone through in his letters, and the couple finally reconnected and started dating when they were both 18 before getting married at age 20.
As for Ethan, he wasn’t upset about the fact that he hadn’t gotten to play the field before marrying his sweetheart – far from it. In fact, he’d always hoped that he would marry his first girlfriend.
“I always wanted the first girl that I dated to be the one that I married,” Ethan confessed. “It had to be sentimental. It had to be ‘love each other forever.’ It was just what I wanted.”
However, that wasn’t his sole reason for getting married. Ethan explained that he was also beyond ready to get out from under his parents’ control and assert his independence. He believed that starting his own family would be the best way to move out, move on, and make his own life.