The Real Reason Welcome To Plathville's Kim And Barry Plath Are Ending Their Marriage

Reality TV villains Kim and Barry Plath are the parents featured in the hit reality show, "Welcome to Plathville." Barry and Kim are fundamentalist Christians who make Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar look wild by comparison. The Plaths raised their nine children in a very strict and sheltered home. The Plath kids had no cell phones, soda pop, or television. Despite the ban on watching TV, Barry and Kim thought it was okay to put their kids on a reality show.

Four of their nine kids are now estranged from their parents. Oldest daughter Hosanna married young and moved away from her parents. Barry and Kim kicked their teenagers Moria and Micah out of the house, leaving them to fend for themselves without a high school diploma or a GED. The Plath's oldest, Ethan, stopped contacting his parents because of how they treated his wife, Olivia (Ethan's parents think evil spirits possess Olivia, because she thinks drinking Coca-Cola is fine and other revolutionary ideas).

In Season 4 of the TLC series, there are relationship problems between Barry and Kim. People reported that Kim talked about her choice to move away from her husband and five younger children. "I never thought it would be like this ... It's just a time of a lot of change right now," the 49-year-old mom explained. "It's like he wants me to stay, but I don't know that he wants to really change." As Season 4 went on, things got worse. Here's why the "Welcome to Plathville" stars are ending their marriage.

Barry and Kim Plath's marriage is over after 24 years

"Welcome to Plathville" parents Barry and Kim Plath are ending their marriage, per a statement made to People. "After considerable thought and discussion, we have decided to end our marriage," the couple explained. "While this was not an easy decision, we know it's the best choice for both of us. We have been through many highs and lows in our 24 years of marriage, and as we navigate this new chapter in our lives, we will co-parent our amazing children." 

In a Twitter video clip from the reality show, the couple are seen having an emotional talk about their relationship. Barry confessed the separation was "weird and lonely." The 54-year-old added, "One thing I thought wouldn't ever be shaken was us. Now it's totally shaken up. It's just really sad. It's a tragedy." The heartbroken Barry told his wife, "I have my days where I feel like a man of sorrows. I also have questions like, what's running the show behind why you're doing what you're doing? I kind of value, after 24 years you don't just go and throw things away."

Kim appeared distant during the conversation but offered her side of the situation, telling her husband, "I just feel like I've been hurt too much." As Barry tries to get his wife to see there is hope for the relationship, Kim shuts him down, saying, "Do you want me to stay knowing that I'm not happy?" 

Reaction to Barry and Kim Plath's divorce news

Reactions from Barry and Kim Plath's kids in the wake of the news are mixed. Moriah Plath told People she is trying to be neutral about her parent's split. "At the end of the day, I just want her and my dad to be happy," Moriah explained of her mom. "It's really hard because they both want different things, so it's hard watching. I want my dad to be happy, but this is tearing him apart, but my mom's not going to be happy with my dad." The 19-year-old star added poignantly, "I don't know; people change." Her brother Ethan told People, "I would probably prefer to stay out of it, honestly."

But it's not just the Plath children reacting to Barry and Kim's news — many fans have feelings about Barry and Kim's divorce. There is a flurry of activity in the "Welcome to Plathville" subReddit; one Redditor commented: "I'm surprised my first reaction is pity for Barry. He just seems so clueless and like he spent most of his life focused on being whatever Kim wanted ... Kim will find someone new to dominate and twist to her will." One Redditor (not a fan of Barry) commented: "He has a condescending smile on his face. It was making me so uncomfortable." Another Redditor thought Kim may have already moved on, writing: "I think Kim had an affair. I'm still surprised by this since fundies are so against divorce, and I figured JB & Michelle made it and haven't."