Welcome to Plathville: Ethan Feels Like He 'Gave Up' His Sibling Relationships for His Marriage
The upcoming season 3 premiere of TLC's Welcome to Plathville picks up six months after Ethan's confrontation with his parents, Barry and Kim Plath — and it's evident that Ethan and Olivia are now facing difficulties in their own relationship.
Following the contentious season 2 finale, when the eldest Plath son almost got into a fistfight with his dad over how his parents had treated Olivia, Ethan and Olivia have not been in contact with them, with Ethan still harboring "resentment."
In PEOPLE's exclusive sneak peek at Tuesday's premiere, Olivia returns home to Ethan after being away on a trip and not talking to him for a week.
"What'd you do over the weekend?" Olivia, 22, asks Ethan, who says he "worked on the cars."
She then asks if he went to his therapy appointment the night before. "Yeah," replies Ethan, 22, who proceeds to ask for a hug. As the two embrace, Olivia asks how the appointment went.
"It sucked. I talked to a stranger that I didn't know about all my problems," Ethan admits as Olivia chuckles and says, "It's kind of helpful, though. Yeah?"
Asked if he'll go back for more sessions, Ethan seems uncertain. "Maybe — in a month. I don't know," he tells his wife, seeming quiet and disconnected.
"You good?" Olivia asks, to which Ethan nods but declines her offer to talk about his feelings.
In a confessional, Ethan explains that he went to therapy because Olivia — who began going to therapy again last year — made the recommendation.
"Since the day that I spoke with my parents last year, I still have a lot of anger and resentment towards them, so Olivia's really wanted me to go to a personal therapist," he says. "I did give that a try, but it didn't do anything for me."
"When I feel stressed or frustrated, I don't want to sit down and talk to somebody about it — I want to get out of the situation. And so I'll go work on my cars, I'll go work on something outside, the AC unit, the lawnmower," he continues. "It's just something for me to do by myself to process."
Last season, TLC audiences saw the Georgia-based Plath family splinter into three households: Kim, 48, and Barry, 53, with their youngest children (Lydia, 17, Isaac, 15, Amber, 12, Cassia, 11, and Mercy, 8); Moriah, 18, and Micah, 20; and Ethan and Olivia. (There's also daughter Hosanna, 21, a violinist who tours full-time with her pianist husband Timothy Nobel.)
On the season 2 finale, Ethan said goodbye to his youngest siblings, realizing that he would likely have no contact with them unless he and his parents could come to a resolution.
Since the day he last spoke to his folks, "Something that I think about quite often is the relationship that I gave up with my siblings for my marriage, and honestly, it pisses me off to no end," he tells cameras in the sneak peek. "I kind of feel that my mom used my younger siblings as leverage to get me to do what she wanted me to do. She told me, 'You won't be able to see your siblings until we're okay, and we're okay means you guys just do what we want, and then we'll all be alright.'"
"That's just messed up," he says.
For Olivia's part, she's doing her best to connect with and be there for her husband.
"I've tried to have every conversation possible, from every angle possible," she tells cameras. "I've tried to fix this and make this work because I want a progressing, growing relationship. And being at a standstill is really hard, which is why I suggested therapy in the first place."
"But at the end of the day," she adds, "I think the biggest thing for the sake of our marriage thriving is that we really need to be out of Cairo."
Season 3 of Welcome to Plathville premieres Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET on TLC.
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