Olivia Plath Says By Age 13 She Was Given Books on 'How to Be the Best Wife Possible'

The 'Welcome to Plathville' star said she felt 'very isolated' growing up in a church with a fundamentalist view

<p>Olivia Path/Instagram</p> Olivia Plath poses for a selfie on Instagram

Olivia Path/Instagram

Olivia Plath poses for a selfie on Instagram

Olivia Plath is opening up about the early days of her “isolated” childhood.

The Welcome to Plathville star, 25, grew up in “the fundamental Christian world,” which she referred to as “a cult” in a new profile for Teen Vogue. Reflecting on her life before her relationship and marriage to Ethan Plath, which ended after five years in October, Olivia revealed that she “grew up on a farm” and was “homeschooled,” leading her to become “very isolated.”

Once her parents joined a new non-denominational Christian church with a fundamentalist view, she recalled how “overnight, everything changed.

“By the time I was 13, I was being given books on how to be the best wife possible, so from a very young age I assumed that what was expected from me in life as a woman, and what I was told what was expected of me as a woman was to get married and to have kids and to be a stay at home mom,” she shared. “I did not want that.”

Reflecting on the beginnings of her relationship with Ethan, she told the outlet she felt that she was “living in fight or flight all the time.”

“I let my parents supervise my courtship, got married super young to another kid from a fundamental world,” she said, adding, “It did not really work out for me.”

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

olivia plath/ instagram Olivia Plath and Ethan Plath
olivia plath/ instagram Olivia Plath and Ethan Plath

As she looks back on the story of her relationship captured throughout five seasons of TLC’s Welcome to Plathville, Olivia said, “I’m like, ‘oh my God, who is that kid who cries in every single interview and is so emotional? What is her problem?’”

“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 explained of her mindset early on in her marriage to Ethan, before noting how difficult it was to navigate dynamics within his close-knit family, particularly with her mother-in-law, Kim Plath, who she spent years not speaking to.

“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," she added. "I look back and I’m like, ‘Sheesh.’ It felt very overwhelming.”

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

Olivia Plath/ instagram Olivia Plath and Ethan Plath
Olivia Plath/ instagram Olivia Plath and Ethan Plath

In February, Olivia spoke about the nature of her relationship on an episode of the So Bad It's Good with Ryan Bailey podcast, calling the marriage a "trial run."

"I married someone I didn't know and that went very poorly for me,” she said. “It was a whole experience. I wouldn't trade it 'cause now I know what I don't want. And I think that that's just as valuable as knowing what you want."

Since her split from Ethan, she’s started “dating a bit,” but admitted it’s been “hard.”

"I'm looking at character. I'm like, it's super important for me to date someone who is very curious about life, who's very compassionate towards other people," she shared. "Because if they're curious and compassionate towards themself, they can be that way towards other people. And those are two things I really want in a partner."

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Seasons 1-5 of Welcome to Plathville can be streamed on Max.

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