Welcome to Plathville's Olivia Opens Up About Moving Away from Ethan's Parents, Starting a Family
The Welcome to Plathville stars are preparing to put their home on the market in January and move away from Cairo, Georgia, where they live not far from his parents, Kim and Barry Plath.
"The house is about ready to go on the market. We were kind of waiting until the end of Christmas because it was all crazy around here and we just figured let’s not stress ourselves out at the end of Christmas. We’ve been working on getting it ready all fall, so the house is ready to go on the market when we get home," Olivia, 22, who celebrated Christmas in Minnesota with Ethan's grandparents, tells PEOPLE.
While the couple has discussed possibilities of where they "want to end up," Olivia says they "realized that rushing to a second mortgage was actually just going to tie us down to a place we maybe didn’t want, and so we’ve talked about renting for a year and signing a lease and then just figuring things out."
As to where they will likely go, "I think we definitely will go over the border into Florida, closer to Ethan’s work and kind of maybe just find a lease for a year and ride it out and visit other places and not rush so fast. I mean, we’re really young. 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,’ " the travel photographer shares.
But as more time has passed since the house sale fell through, her perspective has changed from one of disappointment to gratitude.
"The more time that’s gone on from that, the more I’ve thought, ‘Actually, I’m really glad we didn’t get that house.’ Like, 30 minutes is not enough space. And we would’ve been tied down," says Olivia. "So just trying to keep our options open and maybe give ourselves a little bit of a grace period to actually think through things instead of blindly reacting and running."
In fall 2019, 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, 22, 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.
As seen on the current season 2 of the TLC reality series, the conservative Plath family is at odds and has split into three households — Ethan and Olivia, Micah and Moriah, and Kim and Barry with their youngest children — though they only all live blocks apart.
Ethan also revealed on the show that he and Olivia, who celebrated their two-year anniversary in October, "needed space as a couple, so we decided that that meant no contact with my parents," which he began after he and his wife were no longer allowed to see his youngest siblings.
Currently, "we are still on a no-contact basis with his parents ," Olivia tells PEOPLE.
Though Kim and Barry did inquire about their eldest son and daughter-in-law's upcoming move, according to Olivia, Ethan remained mum.
"I don’t really know much about Barry and Kim’s responses to things and I try to like, not pry and stay out of that. The only thing I know is they asked Ethan where and he was like, ‘I’m not telling you.’ But that’s about all I know," Olivia explains. "I don’t really know if they’d be happy or not, I could speculate, but I don’t for sure know."
Along with their move, Olivia is preparing to launch the rebrand of her photography business in January.
"It was the healthiest and best thing for us when Ethan decided that and just focusing on us, focusing on moving and growing," says Olivia, referencing their decision to have no contact with Ethan's parents. "And I’m focusing on the rebrand and my business and just trying to do everything I can to make sure I’m in a healthy and happy spot."
For Olivia, being in a healthy place means going to therapy again — a decision she made not only for herself, but also for the well-being of her future children.
"Ethan and I both love kids. We’re both from large families, and we would definitely love to have a couple of kids. I think our ideal would be to have a few of our own and then adopt a few. But I also know that in many ways, we’re not ready for kids and the fact that we need to heal and process our own childhoods before we bring another child into the world," says Olivia.
"I’m currently in therapy. I started again last month, just realizing that I was not in a healthy place and I needed to work through things. And I think maybe once we’ve gone through some therapy, we feel like we’ve processed our childhoods and we’re ready to not just react when we have our own kids, but actually like, take positive steps for a better childhood for them," she explains. "And maybe once we've seen a little bit more of the world and made a couple more memories, I think maybe we’d be ready for a couple of kids."
She adds: "A couple of years down the road. We’re not in a rush."
With a future full of adventure and possibility for Olivia, she's glad to be doing life alongside her best friend.
"We have made it to two years and his parents never thought we would," she says about their marriage. "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. I know that sounds really cliché, but at the same time, in the circle we grew up in, like, guys and girls could not be friends, and the fact that we were able to be friends before we got married was like, an unheard-of thing in many ways," Olivia says about her upbringing.
Being "able to stay friends, I honestly think that’s what helped our marriage stay afloat," Olivia admits. "Because during all that hard time with all the drama, there wasn’t a lot of romance going around. We were just trying to survive and keep our head above water. But the fact that we were friends I think really helped us through that."
"And I’m really, really glad he’s my best friend," she says about Ethan.
Welcome to Plathville airs Tuesdays (10 p.m. ET) on TLC.
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