Olivia Plath Says It Was 'a Power Struggle' Being on “Welcome to Plathville” with Ethan: 'I Wanted to Choose My Own Life'

"All I wanted was to be myself and live authentically as who I am," Plath said of her experience on the TLC series

<p>TLC</p> From left: Olivia Plath and Ethan Plath


From left: Olivia Plath and Ethan Plath

Olivia Plath is reflecting on her experience filming Welcome to Plathville with her estranged husband Ethan Plath and his family.

The reality star, 25, told Teen Vogue that she faced “a power struggle” with Ethan’s mother, Kim Plath, as she publicly navigated setting boundaries with her in-laws on the TLC reality series before filing for divorce from Ethan in February. The date of their separation, according to the divorce papers, was Feb. 25, 2023.

“I would read critical comments [about me on the show] and I would immediately respond to that, like ‘no, I’m not the same [as Kim], you don’t understand,’ ” she said of seeing viewer response to the series. “Looking back on it now, all I wanted was to choose my own life. All I wanted was to be myself and live authentically as who I am.”

tlc From left: Welcome to Plathville's Olivia and Kim Plath
tlc From left: Welcome to Plathville's Olivia and Kim Plath

Related: Olivia Plath Reflects on Her Marriage to Ethan 'Falling Apart' — and Why 'Compassion' Is Now a Dealbreaker

Olivia notes that the public criticism took a toll on her as she dealt with marital woes and questioning her religious upbringing.

“I look back on the last four or five seasons of the show, which is four or five years of my life, and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, who is that kid who cries in every single interview and is so emotional? What is her problem?’” she shared. “I was 20 and newly married to someone who wasn’t ready to leave fundamentalism behind at the same time as I was questioning fundamentalism.”

“I had my whole life open for the public to criticize and critique, and I was a kid who grew up so sheltered from the world,” she added. "To be thrown out in it and have everyone watch me as I’m deconstructing and trying to figure out what being married is all about and dealing with in-law conflict. I look back and I’m like, sheesh. It felt very overwhelming.”

<p>TLC</p> The cast of "Welcome to Plathville"


The cast of "Welcome to Plathville"

Related: Welcome to Plathville's Olivia Plath Opens Up About Dating After Divorce from Ethan: 'It's Been Hard'

The now-exes faced relationship troubles with fans being able to see their ups and downs on the Plath family's TLC series. They had struggled to see eye-to-eye on several key issues, including communication, politics, religion and differences in how they want to raise children.

In the season 5 finale in December, Ethan, 25, officially decided to end the pair's marriage.

Related: Olivia Plath Says She's 'Happy' and 'at Peace' amid Rumors She and Ethan Have Split

<p>TLC</p> From left: Ethan and Olivia Plath


From left: Ethan and Olivia Plath

Olivia admitted that she does have regrets about her actions on Welcome to Plathville despite knowing she was ill-equipped to handle the situation.

“I’m trying to sit in this place now, realizing that I should’ve behaved better, and also knowing that I did not have the tools at the time to behave better,” she explained.

“It’s the juxtaposition of, that was a bad choice; I didn’t know how at the time, but now I do,” she continued. “I look back to season one and see a scared kid who felt like she was backed into a corner. I saw things as black and white and drew very harsh boundaries. I think that I needed that at the time. It harmed other people and... I wish that wasn’t the case, but I don’t get a do-over. I want to consistently make better choices.”

Olivia remains hopeful for the future. “I feel very at home with myself," she said. "I think curiosity is the theme of my life."

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Welcome to Plathville is available to stream on Max.

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