The Truth About Olivia And Ethan Plath's Marriage

Reality television is full of odd things and people. There are shows that highlight weird talents people have or unusual phobias. There are shows that feature people with huge families, and families with a ton of money. But on TLC, there's only one show that features a huge, ultra-conservative family with more drama than any season of Grey's Anatomy, and no, it's not about the Duggars. Welcome to Plathville first premiered in 2019, and fans were instantly smitten with the show's entertainment value and all the drama the Plath family had going on.


Specifically, the divide between oldest son Ethan Plath and his wife, Olivia, from Ethan's family was a huge source of conflict on the show's first season. Ethan and Olivia had to deal with so much from Ethan's family, all so early on in their marriage. And while the two seemed truly in love, a lot of people couldn't help but be concerned for the state of their relationship. And with all that family drama, it's understandable. This is the truth about Olivia and Ethan Plath's marriage.

This is how Olivia and Ethan Plath first met

One of the things that make the Plath family so unique is their ultra-conservative world views. In the series premiere of Welcome to Plathville, it's established that the Plaths try to keep their kids as far removed from the modern world as possible. They don't watch television or use the internet for anything other than schooling, and matriarch Kim Plath has even outlawed added sugar or any kind of junk food in the family home.


Yes, the Plath family is traditional, but they aren't the only traditional family out there. In fact, Ethan Plath first met Olivia at a conservative family camp after which they stayed in contact by old-fashioned letter writing. On their wedding website, they wrote, "Within a few weeks of returning home, Ethan couldn't get Olivia off of his mind and decided that he was completely smitten." But it wasn't until two years later that their letter correspondence started, and they develop mutual feelings for each other. Clearly, their love story was a long time coming.

They officially fell for each other at Ethan Plath's family home

Because Olivia and Ethan Plath weren't exactly raised like most American kids, their love story wasn't exactly like most people's. Their parents were both pretty conservative, and because they didn't live near each other, they had to keep things G-rated and get their parents' approval. As such, the pair didn't really officially fall for each other until they were granted the ability to spend time together in person.


And, according to the couple's wedding website, that happened about two and a half years after they first met. Per the website, Olivia described how she "spent 2 weeks in Georgia with the Plath family and we were finally able to go on our 'first date.'" More than that, though, while in Georgia, "Olivia finally realized what Ethan had known for several years": that they "were made for each other!" It might not be the stereotypical love story for most people, but clearly Ethan and Olivia made the most of their unusual circumstances.

Olivia initially got along with Ethan Plath's family

If you've watched even just one episode of Welcome to Plathville, then you know that, after being married for a while, Olivia Plath's relationship with her in-laws wasn't exactly sunshine and glitter. But, as it turns out, Olivia actually enjoyed being with Ethan Plath's family when they first started dating. And since Ethan and Olivia obviously got married, there must have been a point where Olivia and the Plaths actually liked each other, right?


Well, Olivia wrote in her family's old blog that when she first met and got to know the Plath family, she totally got along with them. The blog post described Olivia's family and the Plaths "indulging in quality time, late night shenanigans, sharing testimonies, dancing and reeling, washing dishes, hiking, playing music and talking and laughing galore." Additionally, Olivia referred to the Plaths as being "[her] people." While so much has changed since then, the fact that Olivia initially got along with Ethan's family helps to explain why they got together so easily in the first place.

Olivia and Ethan Plath's proposal story is seriously special

Olivia and Ethan Plath definitely seem like an adorable couple. While Ethan's innocence made their relationship even cuter — and the video Olivia took of him trying a Coke for the first time was highly entertaining — quite possibly nothing could top his proposal to Olivia. After three years of knowing each other and most of their relationship being long-distance, Ethan surprised Olivia with the most thoughtful proposal ever.


As Olivia wrote on their wedding website, she was totally surprised by Ethan's grand gesture. Olivia explained on the website that the two went out for dinner at a "special garden," which was actually where they had their first real date and really got to know each other. "That's where Ethan got down on one knee, told Olivia he couldn't live without her and asked her to be his wife," according to the website. The fact that Ethan was able to make the moment so memorable for Olivia speaks volumes of how much he cares for her.

After Olivia and Ethan Plath got married, his family had some issues

For several reasons, after Olivia and Ethan Plath tied the knot, the couple's relationship with the Plath family seriously started to disintegrate. Because Ethan's parents, Kim and Barry, didn't approve of the way Ethan and Olivia were living their lives, they started to restrict Ethan and Olivia's access to his siblings.


As Olivia said in a scene during Season 2 of Welcome to Plathville, things with Ethan's parents took a turn for the worse when they were denied seeing his siblings without his parents chaperoning the interaction. As Welcome to Plathville made clear, Kim and Barry apparently didn't trust their oldest son and his wife not to corrupt their children (by drinking Coke and watching television, we'd guess). "During last year, we were allowed to see the kids some, and then last fall, everything just completely changed and we were not allowed to see the kids at all," she said. "It was just toxic." 

Olivia didn't agree with the Plath family rules

One of the hardest obstacles that Olivia and Ethan Plath had to face in their marriage was that the Plath family rules didn't sit right with Olivia. And since she didn't agree with them, there was some tension between Kim and Barry Plath and their new daughter-in-law.


"Since we got married, it's just been like a long process of, like, introducing him to all these different things," Olivia said in an episode of Welcome to Plathville. She added, "Obviously we're a family and we're going to do things that way that we choose to do them. And we allow a lot of different things in our home that his parents wouldn't. And that's just a personal choice," she added. She then described how tense things got when his parents found out they had alcohol in their house. Olivia even added that Ethan's parents were mad when they went out for ice cream because they didn't believe in sugar. Clearly, Olivia didn't agree with the Plath family rules, and who could blame her?

Ethan Plath's parents "criticized" Olivia's values

As anyone who is married knows, your relationship with your in-laws can pretty much make or break certain aspects of your marriage. For Olivia and Ethan Plath, the Plath family was the reason for a lot of the tension in their relationship, and specifically how Ethan's parents didn't approve of basically anything Olivia did.


In an episode of Welcome to Plathville, Olivia explained what her relationship with Ethan's parents was like and how it was strained. "They know I have different values and different priorities than them," she said (via People). "I have felt very negative about Kim," she continued. "Because even when Ethan and I were dating, I was criticized for what kind of toothpaste I used, or what I ate, or what I wore, or what I did. I feel like I was constantly critiqued." Given how Olivia felt so attacked by Ethan's mother, it couldn't have been easy on her marriage to Ethan.

Olivia Plath has had to stand up for those she loves, even against Ethan's parents

As strained as Olivia Plath's relationship with her in-laws has been since she and Ethan got married, the professional photographer hasn't been afraid to speak up when necessary.

After Season 1 of Welcome to Plathville started to air, Olivia actually announced that she had gotten a lot of hate. But she also clarified that the worst hate was coming from her in-laws. "Bullies and narcissists don't phase me, and if I see someone I love being hurt or abused, it is not in my nature to stay silent," she wrote on Instagram. Additionally, Olivia revealed that things between her and Ethan and his parents were even worse than they appeared on the show. "Having your in-laws speak ill of you on national tv, and dealing with narcissistic behavior, emotional, psychological and spiritual abuse every day" was really hurtful, she explained. Olivia might have to defend Ethan or their relationship to his own parents, but it proves the two are committed to one other above all else.


Olivia and Ethan Plath had to make a tough decision in regards to his family

On Season 1 of Welcome to Plathville, Olivia and Ethan Plath appeared to try to make things work with Ethan's family. While they were only allowed to be around Ethan's siblings sometimes, and usually only while supervised, the couple still tried to stay in touch with the Plaths. However, things ended up getting so bad in the time between Season 1's end and Season 2's start that the two had to make a tough decision in regards to Ethan's family.


"Since last year, a lot has happened in our relationship between me and Olivia and my parents and my siblings, just the family dynamics," Ethan said in an episode of Season 2 of Welcome to Plathville. "It really does hurt ... I have a lot of frustration that I am trying to deal with," he added about when it comes to his parents. Then Ethan revealed that the couple had made a tough choice in order to save their relationship. "We needed space as a couple so we decided that that meant no contact with my parents," he stated. Cutting off family members is never easy, but it seems it was what was best for Ethan and Olivia's marriage.

Ethan Plath wants to stand by his wife's side

As fans saw on Season 1 of Welcome to Plathville, things between Olivia and Ethan's parents got pretty awkward when there was a confrontation of sorts. The conversation took place because Kim and Barry Plath basically didn't trust Olivia to be alone with their kids. It was a tense situation, but one of the most uncomfortable things about it was how silent Ethan was during it. And as it turns out, he seriously regrets that, and he's made the decision to stand by his wife's side more in the future.


"Basically, what my dad told me in his own words was that they could not accept her," Ethan said in an episode of Welcome to Plathville Season 2. "That's one thing that I do really regret, is that I tried to keep the peace when I should have said, 'Don't treat my wife like this. Don't talk to my wife like this.'" The entire relationship between Ethan and Olivia and his parents has taken up such a large portion of the married couple's new life together, so Ethan realizing he needs to prioritize Olivia is so important.

Olivia and Ethan Plath considered divorcing

No one who gets married ever expects to get divorced, or to even have to talk about getting divorced. But for Olivia and Ethan Plath, the pressures from their reality show and especially from the Plath family made it nearly impossible not to discuss splitting up.


"Divorce was definitely on the table for a couple of months," Olivia explained in an episode of Welcome to Plathville. "And it was a really hard couple of months." She noted, "And just got to the point of like, if this is gonna work, we're gonna have to fight really hard for this and cut out everything that doesn't want us to make it." It seems as though Ethan and Olivia needed to focus on each other, and so stepping back from the Plath family drama helped them do that. "I think as we heal as people, our marriage will begin to heal and thrive," she added. And hopefully, thrive they will.

The global pandemic forced Olivia and Ethan Plath to spend more time together

The year 2020 was a tough one for just about everyone. And for Olivia and Ethan Plath, 2020 had them spending even more time together, though that wasn't always a good thing.

In the second episode of Season 2 of Welcome to Plathville (via The Ashley's Reality Roundup), Ethan and Olivia have a little issue in the kitchen where she is trying to get some work done and he is having a hard time making pancakes. It was pretty tense between the two, as Olivia explained that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, her job had to slow down and she was at home more. Still, while they got used to more and more of each other's company, they also learned to enjoy it. In an Instagram post from August 2020, Olivia shared just how happy she was spending more time with Ethan. "Thankful for a quiet downtown so we could get ice cream and talk on the bench for a while," she wrote in the caption. "I guess one good thing about 2020 is that Covid has helped me to not take those little moments for granted." If the coronavirus can't take those two down, nothing can.


Olivia and Ethan Plath are now better than ever and going to therapy

For such a young couple, Olivia and Ethan Plath have been through more than their fair share of drama and trauma. Between your typical newlywed issues, the COVID-19 pandemic, and Ethan's family not really approving of their marriage, the pair have truly had to work hard at their relationship. And for Ethan and Olivia, hard work looks like going to therapy and getting stronger than ever in their marriage.


"Ethan and I have been working through trauma, and going to therapy, so there is lots of processing involved," Olivia shared during an Instagram question and answer session. Additionally, she touched on the fact that the few episodes of Welcome to Plathville that had already aired only showed the couple sad and upset, but that wasn't always the case. "I can't wait for the later episodes to air where you guys can see Ethan and I a little happier and healthier as we work through things and get a grip on 2020," she explained. Ethan and Olivia Plath don't have your typical marriage, but they're making it work, and they seem better than ever.

Do Olivia and Ethan Plath want kids in the future?

As is the case with just about every young couple that gets married, Olivia and Ethan Plath are no strangers to intrusive questions about their future. Specifically, the pair have gotten asked a lot about whether or not they want kids, and as it turns out, they definitely do... but only when the time is right.


"We would love a couple of kids someday, but we are babies ourselves and in no rush whatsoever," Olivia answered on her Instagram Stories during a question and answer session. She noted that she wanted to address the babies question first because it was the most popular of the bunch. Olivia explained that she was "a big advocate of not having more kids than you can properly raise and manage, which includes not only financial needs, but emotional and psychological as well." As Ethan's parents are known for having a lot of kids — nine, to be exact — it seems Olivia knows precisely what she doesn't want her family to look like.

Why Ethan Plath got Olivia a new ring

In Season 2 of Welcome to Plathville, viewers watched Ethan and Olivia Plath really struggled in their relationship. The pair were adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic, coping with not being able to see Ethan's younger siblings, and basically in relationship limbo. But during their sometimes tense, oftentimes hilarious trip to California where Olivia was working on her photography business' rebrand, Ethan surprised his wife with a super meaningful gift.


In California, Ethan gave Olivia a new ring. "I know that the ring I gave you on our first wedding, you had bad associations with, and I wanted to get you something that you could wear that would be from me to you, and it would be my way of promising you that someday we will have the wedding you always wanted," Ethan explained as he presented Olivia with the ring. Olivia then told the cameras that she wasn't wearing her original rings because Ethan's mom "was involved in that whole process." So, Ethan picking out a new ring for Olivia truly symbolized that the couple was moving on from his family and forging a new path forward. Or, as Olivia said, "It just kind of symbolizes like a fresh start." Aw!


Ethan and Olivia Plath want to move away from his hometown

One of the biggest surprises on Season 2 of Welcome to Plathville was when Ethan and Olivia Plath looked at buying another home in a neighboring city in order to put some distance between themselves and Ethan's family. But as it turns out, they've given it a lot of thought, and for Ethan and Olivia, moving away from their small Georgia town is pretty important.


In an interview with People, Olivia explained that while Welcome to Plathville did show a little of their journey to move, it wasn't the whole picture. "I think we definitely will go over the border into Florida," she said of where they want to relocate. "On the show, everyone saw us go look at a house and we both honestly loved that house, and I was really heartbroken when it fell through because it kind of felt like a nail in a coffin of, 'Oh okay, I am stuck here,'" she said. But in the end, Olivia said it was for the best because the house was only 30 minutes away, which wasn't far enough from Ethan's family in their opinion. Hey, they clearly need some distance, and that's their call.

Ethan Plath finally stood up for Olivia

In the Season 2 finale of Welcome to Plathville, viewers got an up-close look at just how tense things were between Ethan Plath and his parents, Kim and Barry Plath. When Ethan went to their house to say goodbye to his younger siblings, he badly wanted his brother and sisters to say goodbye to OIivia, who was waiting in the car just across the way, too. But his parents just wouldn't let them go to the car. And things escalated, as People reported.


At one point, both Kim and Barry tried to go see Olivia, something Ethan was adamant shouldn't happen. And Ethan was so adamant, in fact, that he almost came to blows with his father. "It is very nice for you to say that you love me, but behind my back when you talk about my wife to other people," Ethan said as he shook his head and became visibly angry, "it's not gonna fly with me." Moments later, Barry took off towards the car, and Ethan had to forcibly grab him and talk sternly to him in order to protect his wife. It was seriously tense, but it showed just how much Ethan had grown and how had learned to stand up for his wife.

The pair got matching tattoos

In case you didn't know, the Plath family on Welcome to Plathville is strict, which is made very clear in the show's first season. Ethan Plath, then, was raised to avoid certain foods, music, shows, and clothes, and you can bet your bottom dollar that he was probably also taught to avoid tattoos. However, in Season 2 of Welcome to Plathville, Ethan and Olivia Plath cemented their marriage in a whole new way when they got matching tattoos.


In the episode, Ethan was a lot more nervous than Olivia at the thought of getting a tattoo. He had said he never wanted one until he met her, and he even second-guessed his decision. But in the end, they went for it for the most romantic reason. "We thought it was something that was like cute and kind of like romantic to each have something from the other I guess," he told the cameras on an episode of Welcome to Plathville. The tattoos — Olivia got a queen of hearts tattoo, while Ethan was inked with a king of hearts — were definitely a symbol of their relationship and evidence that they've both escaped their controlling upbringings to the fullest extent.

Ethan Plath's family reportedly doubted they'd make it

Obviously, Ethan and Olivia Plath don't exactly have the best relationship with Ethan's parents. Honestly, that might be the understatement of the century as Welcome to Plathville makes it very clear that things in the Plath family are not okay. And to add to that, according to Olivia, Ethan's family never had much faith that the couple could make it long-term.


"We have made it to two years and his parents never thought we would," she said in an interview with People. "So we were really, really happy about that. And honestly I think the best part of us being married is the fact that we get to do life together as best friends." Ethan and Olivia have gone through more in just two years of marriage than most couples go through in decades. They are the epitome of proving the haters wrong, even when the haters are your own family. Two years down, and forever to go.