Welcome to Plathville's Ethan and Olivia Open Up About Having 'No Contact' with His Parents: 'It Was Just Toxic'
Ethan and Olivia Plath are opening up about their estranged relationship with his parents.
On Tuesday's episode of Welcome to Plathville, the couple, who have been married for nearly two years, discusses why they ultimately decided to have "no contact" with Kim and Barry Plath, who now live just a few blocks away from them.
"A lot of times driving, we take a different route than you might expect because a couple months ago I found out my parents moved to Cairo. And I was like,' Really?' It's kind of close. And I found out the house they bought is like practically three blocks up — it's like 0.3 miles from our house. I mean, I can't go to the grocery store or go to work without practically driving right by it," Ethan, 22, says in a PEOPLE exclusive sneak, courtesy of TLC.
"Of all the houses they could have bought and moved into, of course they had to pick one 0.3 miles from my house," says Olivia, 21, who admits she takes a different route to town, but doesn't "want them to know that."
Last fall, viewers met Kim and Barry, who chose to raise their nine children on a 55-acre farm in a rural part of south Georgia and have largely abstained from technology in the 21st century world — all with the goal of instilling their traditional values and beliefs. (They are parents to Ethan, Micah, 19, Moriah, 18, Lydia, 16, Isaac, 14, Amber, 11, Cassia, 9, and Mercy, 7. There’s also daughter Hosanna, 21, a violinist who tours full-time with her pianist husband Timothy Nobel. They were married in the spring of 2019 and live in Ohio.)
This season, the family has separated into three households, with Micah and Moriah also "renting a house two streets up" from Ethan. "So everyone's right here," he says.
Last year, "Ethan and I took Micah and Moriah under our wing a lot and this year it looks a whole lot different because now they're off flying on their own and doing their own thing, making their own friends. So we don't see them as often," explains Olivia. "But when we do, we have fun."
But while everyone is close by, the Plaths aren't exactly one big happy 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," explains Ethan. "Yeah, a lot has happened. It's kind of hard to say," he adds with hesitation.
When Ethan asks his wife "where do I start?" Olivia explains when things began to shift.
"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 says. "It was just toxic."
For Ethan, "it really does hurt not being able to see them. That's really hard, and it's very, very frustrating," he shares. "I have a lot of frustration that I am trying to deal with, like, why am I not allowed to see my siblings unsupervised?"
Ultimately, the frustrations led to the couple cutting ties with Kim and Barry.
"We needed space as a couple, so we decided that that meant no contact with my parents," says Ethan.
As for what's to come, season 2 will also see Ethan and Olivia experiencing new adventures together, including heading out to California, getting tattoos and connecting with their spiritual sides in the desert.
Welcome to Plathville airs Tuesdays (10 p.m. ET) on TLC.
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