When Welcome to Plathville star Olivia Plath first met Ethan Plath, they were both just 16 years old. Both raised in similar Christian fundamentalist homeschooling families, they were on the same page in just about every way. But as they got older, Olivia took major steps toward independence – and Ethan eventually began to follow along.
Now 22, the young married couple has struggled in their marriage since tying the knot in 2018. Olivia revealed in TLC’s Welcome to Plathville season 2 segment, “Olivia’s Story,” that she might not have ever decided to marry Ethan if she’d known about all the drama with her in-laws, Kim and Barry Plath, that would eventually follow.
Olivia and Ethan struggled to find their footing after getting married
Olivia and Ethan were thrilled when they finally tied the knot after knowing each other for six years.
But according to Olivia, the couple’s excitement quickly turned to confusion and a sense of shock. After all, they’d only ever gotten to know each other in the confines of a supervised courtship of sorts. Now, they had to figure out everything on their own.
“We just literally shot out from under our parents’ roofs in our early twenties,” the Welcome to Plathville star explained, “and it’s like, ‘Oh, crap. We don’t know who we’re going to be.’”
She explained further that their “restrictive upbringings” required them to get married before they could become intimate in every way or get to know each other fully. What’s more, they both grew up on farms, homeschooled, and in large families. Without those similarities to fall back on, they felt a bit lost, to say the least.
“We both were, in a sense, just running from our childhood and all the ways we had been controlled. And we both wanted out,” Olivia mused.
The ‘Welcome to Plathville’ star said she might have ‘walked away’ from the relationship
Although Ethan and Olivia were “on the same page” when they first got married, things changed not long afterward. Olivia wanted to assert her independence from her upbringing and background more than ever, while Ethan came around more slowly and felt more conflicted. The contrast led to tension between the married pair.
“It’s been a slower process for him than it has for me,” Olivia told TLC producers of her husband. “We kind of grow at different rates in different areas.”
With tears in her eyes, the Welcome to Plathville star even admitted that she might not have married Ethan if she could have seen all the heart-wrenching things that would happen in their future. While she loved her husband, she confessed that she sometimes wondered if all the pain was worth it for both of them.
“If Ethan and I had been able to just date and get to know each other and I could have seen back then everything that was going to happen now, I think I probably would have walked away,” Olivia said. “But then I also would’ve missed out on Ethan and who he is as a person.”
Ethan and Olivia struggled with the ongoing judgment from the Plath family
Of course, the young Welcome to Plathville couple had their own differences to work out. But, at least in Olivia’s mind, their biggest problem was undoubtedly the ongoing conflicts with her in-laws.
Kim and Barry Plath refused to allow Olivia to be around their children without supervision; later, that restriction extended to Ethan as well. The lack of trust began to wear on Ethan and Olivia over time.
Visibly hurt, Olivia revealed that Barry had gone so far as to tell Ethan he could come to the Plath family home anytime – as long as his wife wasn’t with him.
“Ethan having to make a choice between me or his siblings really does come between us,” Olivia said, “because there are times that I just want to tell him, ‘You know what? It’s not fair to you to have to choose.’” While Olivia made no bones about the fact that she had considered divorce – both for her sake and for her husband’s – she loved him immensely and hoped things would work out.
“I don’t want to give him up,” the Welcome to Plathville star said tearfully.