It seems the romance between Dancing with the Stars judge Julianne Hough and her husband of almost three years, Brooks Laich, has come to an end. In an exclusive statement to People, Julianne Hough and Brooks Laich said they're separating after nearly three years of marriage. Although the former hockey player and dancer are calling it quits, there doesn't appear to be any bad blood between the celebs.
The couple's joint statement began, "We have lovingly and carefully taken the time we have needed to arrive at our decision to separate." Although many breakups result in a loss of friendship and love, the couple said they have no ill will. "We share an abundance of love and respect for one another and will continue to lead with our hearts from that place. We kindly request your compassion and respect for our privacy moving forward."
In late April 2020, Hough told Oprah Magazine that she was enjoying her time social distancing away from Laich. While her husband was in Idaho, she was really enjoying her time in Los Angeles, even though he wasn't there with her. "Being on tour for three months and traveling and starting a business... it's a lot. So to be able to be home, and stop and pause, and look inward, and connect back to myself has been glorious," she said. "I've been on my own. My husband is in Idaho doing lots of yard work ... and so we're kind of doing our separate things right now. But it's really been a magical time."
The couple was initially quarantining together in March 2020, before they began to social distance in separate states. Rumors of a rocky relationship between Hough and Laich began in December 2019, and fans have since noticed some red flags, such as Hough appearing without her wedding ring on NBC's New Year's Eve special, and some cryptic Instagram posts from both sides.
People reported that a source close to the couple said the relationship between the pair has been over for a while. "It's time to just call it what it is — and it is over," said the source, continuing, "There is honestly no ill will. He loves her. She loves him. I can truly say they always will. But they both understand they are not meant to go through their lives as husband and wife to each other."
Hough said that she "is not straight" in August 2019, but when she revealed the news to her husband, she said she still chose to be with him. The source close to the couple claimed Hough's "differences" since their marriage first began may have led to their decision to part ways. She's a "deeply different person than she was when they got married," said the source. "She is proud of those differences and changes she's made and she doesn't want to go back."
While Hough said her growth had made her relationship with Laich stronger back in August, it doesn't appear that's the case anymore. "He is the man he is and he shouldn't change a thing. But they shouldn't spend the rest of their lives together — not as spouses, anyway," the source said. Another reason the couple may have called it quits is the fact that they were "perfectly happy and fine being apart" while social distancing in different states, which the source admitted made them feel it was time to separate.
Whatever the reason, it seems like Hough and Laich are separating amicably and have every intention to remain friends in the future.