A professional hockey player and a ballroom dancer may not seem like the most likely duo — but as they say, opposites attract. That seems to have been the case for Julianna Hough and Brooks Laich, at least. This star couple has been through a lot over the years, including career changes and the passing of their two dogs — but each time their bond has been put to the test, they seemingly come out stronger. Indeed,
Julianne Hough and Brooks Laich's relationship timeline is full of all kinds of twists and turns, but so far, they've survived them all.
A scroll through their Instagram feeds suggests that Hough and Laich have a picture-perfect relationship, but other signs in recent years have suggested that just like every other couple, they do have their own struggles and setbacks. TBH, that only makes them all the more relatable and lovable. As rumors of trouble continued to spread about the state of their marriage, only Hough and Laich know the truth. (Elite Daily previously reached out to their reps for comment on their relationship but did not hear back in time for publication.)
One thing's for sure, though: These two have proved time and again that they care deeply about each other, and they're not giving up easily. "At the end of the day, they love each other and they are still together," an inside source
recently told Us Weekly.
makes Hough and Laich's relationship stand out is that they're seemingly always pushing each other outside of their comfort zones, while learning and evolving and growing together. In fact, in a February episode of the “How Men Think” podcast, Laich gave his wifey credit for motivating him to explore his sexuality on a deeper level. During their travels, they've done everything from climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa, to educating themselves about Rwanda's history of genocide.
There's so much that's happened between these two lovebirds over the years – so let's start at the very beginning of their whirlwind saga, shall we?
December 2013: Hough And Laich Get Set Up.
Rachel Murray/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
You can thank Teddy Sears for this match made in heaven — because the actor, who's mutual friends with both stars, is singlehandedly responsible for introducing them. Sears starred in a horror film called
Curve with Hough, and he even went so far as to try to get his buddy Laich to visit him in L.A. so he could play cupid.
"Brooks, who knows nothing about pop culture, joked, 'What are you going to do — hook me up with that Juicy Fruit starlet?'" Hough told
Cosmopolitan in an interview. "He'd seen the commercial and was like, 'Where do I meet a girl like ' I was the girl in the commercial! Teddy remembered that comment and texted Brooks, 'You're never going to guess who I'm doing a movie with.'" that?
Hilariously enough, when Sears finally did
get the two to meet, Hough had never seen a single Washington Capitals game, and Laich had never seen an episode of D ancing with the Stars. Still, it was apparently love at first sight.
"I've never really been the person to think about 'When you know you know,' but it was just kind of like that," Hough
told Entertainment Tonight in 2016. "When we first met each other we were like, 'And we're done.'"
February 2014: Things Take A Serious Turn.
A couple of months after they were set up by their mutual friend, multiple sources confirmed to
Us Weekly that they were officially an item. One source said they were "having fun," while another said, "she's happier than ever." The couple was even caught holding hands and sharing a smooch at Disneyland the day after Valentine's Day. The day after that, they were seen on a hike in Studio City with her two dogs.
Later that month, in an interview with Washington, D.C., radio station 106.7 The Fan, Laich
divulged a little more about their budding relationship, calling Hough a "cool gal," and "sweetheart" who's "very loving, very giving."
"She puts so much great out into the world," he said at the time. "I'm a pretty lucky guy."
August 2014: Hough Gets Candid About Their Connection.
Tiffany Rose/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Even months after they started dating, Hough and Laich had kept their relationship somewhat private — until later that summer, when the
Rock of Ages actress did an interview with Redbook. In the August 2014 issue, she told the magazine that while nothing was necessarily "wrong" or "bad," in her past relationships, nothing was right, either. She admitted she was never honest about what was on her mind because she was playing it safe — and had one foot out the door just in case.
“Now I’m not holding anything back because I’d rather get my heart broken than never know what it is to be completely, madly in love," she explained. "If I had been this open in my last relationship, who knows?”
Clearly, this blossoming bond was nothing like anything she'd experienced before.
August 2015: Laich Pops The Question.
On Aug. 18, 2015, fans were feeling all the feels when Hough announced via The 'Gram that she and Laich were getting hitched.
"We are overwhelmed with joy and excitement to share with you our recent engagement!
#fiancé #love" she wrote underneath a cute photo taken after he popped the question.
One month after their engagement, Hough
gushed about her soon-to-be hubby and embarking on a new chapter with him. She said: "I'm just feeling so happy and blessed every moment of every day. My favorite thing about being engaged is just a sense of warmth and just joy."
February 2016: Hough Gets Real About Their Long-Distance Sex Life.
Hough and Laich's romance had to remain long-distance during a portion of their engagement due to work obligations. Fortunately, Hough told
Cosmopolitan in February of 2016 that their sex life wasn't suffering — they had merely adapted by having a racy phone convo now and then to keep the spark alive.
"But I'm really bad at it," she told the magazine. "I'll get halfway through and start laughing. It's an art. I applaud people who are good at it. They need to come and help me keep a straight face!"
June 2017: They Can't Stop Swooning On Social Media.
July 2017: Hough And Laich Say "I Do."
Hough and Laich's wedding was the epitome of fairytale romance. On July 8, 2017, after nearly four years of dating, they
exchanged vows on Lake Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. This location holds special meaning because Hough spent her summers there while growing up.
"When I introduced Brooks to the lake, he fell in love with this special spot, and we knew this was where we wanted to raise our family and grow old together," Hough revealed in a
People interview. “It just felt right to be married here.”
Laich also noted that it was important to them to have an outdoor wedding because he and Hough are both very "adventurous and free," and thus, wanted the ceremony to happen in nature.
“Brooks and I kept eye contact the entire ceremony,” she told
People. “We never stopped looking at each other.”
If that's not
peak #couplegoals, what is?
July 2017: The Couple Celebrates Their Nuptials.
Shortly after their wedding, the newlyweds
embarked on a legendary honeymoon, which started at a luxury lodge in the Seychelles islands, and also included a breathtaking Kenyan safari.
Fortunately for fans, the couple documented the whole tropical getaway with a slew of precious Instagram posts, like this gem above.
March 2019: Hough Applauds Laich's Patience and Selflessness.
In a March 25 IG post, Hough couldn't help but
sing her hubby's praises. She admitted that recent weeks had been extremely stressful due to her new position on America's Got Talent, developments involving Canary House Productions, and the impending launch of her new company.
"All these outlets are new and exciting but have required an immense amount of focus and execution, which unfortunately hasn’t left much quality time and energy for my love," she explained in the caption. "Brooks my love, you have supported and nourished me and our relationship so that we haven’t let our connection slip. You have been so intentional and have fed my spirit and my heart during this time and I couldn’t be more grateful for you! You have been our rock! You have poured your energy in to me and have charged me with your love!"
June 2019: They Try IVF To Start A Family.
Hough and Laich opened up about their attempts to start a family. He told
Us Weekly that she was going through in vitro fertilization as part of their effort to conceive.
“My wife and I want to have children in our future, and going through IVF was a decision we made to increase the [odds] of that happening,” the hockey player said at the time.
July 2019: Hough Appears On Her Husband's Podcast.
Just in time for their second wedding anniversary, Hough made a guest appearance on Laich's "How Men Think" podcast and they
discussed some pretty intimate deets about their relationship and sex life.
"It’s the most open and raw we’ve ever been, and I just hope people take stuff from that interview and apply it to their relationship,” Laich told
People at the time.
Laich also noted that he and his wife learned a lot about each other throughout the convo. For one, he gained a stronger understanding of
her struggle with endometriosis.
"For her to come on and share … it was
just so powerful, he added in his People interview.
August 2019: Hough Opens Up About Her Sexuality.
In the 2019 annual
Women's Health "Naked Strength" issue, Hough bared all about her sexuality — and some game-changing convos with Laich about that very subject. She revealed that she had told her husband, "I’m not straight," but also, "I choose to be with you."
That admission was a big step in their relationship.
"I think there’s a safety with my husband now that I’m unpacking all of this, and there’s no fear of voicing things that I’ve been afraid to admit or that I’ve had shame or guilt about because of what I’ve been told or how I was raised," she explained in the interview.
The following month,
Laich told , “My wife, to her credit, is constantly evolving, challenging, growing. … She’s challenged me to grow in ways that I resist against and push against.” Us Weekly
December 2019: Signs Of Possible Troubles Start Emerging.
BG026/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty Images
From the final week of 2019 into the first week of 2020, Laich shared a series of cryptic Instagram posts in which he revealed
he's "working on becoming a better man." In a separate Story, he also noted that he wanted to be more "open to all things and present" in his relationships and learn about intimacy and his sexuality.
The day after those Instagrams were posted, Hough cohosted NBC’s New Year’s Eve special —
without her wedding ring on her finger, which raised some eyebrows. It's worth noting, however, that Laich was present at the event to support her.
January 2020: Speculation Of Separation Spreads.
On Jan. 8, 2019, E! News reported that
Laich and Hough were "spending time apart."
"They don't even really know what to call it," an insider source told the publication. "There's a ton of love and emotion there and they are going through something very personal."
Meanwhile, an insider within their social circle reportedly told
Us Weekly that " everyone knows something is up" in their marriage.
Around the same time, Hough was
spotted again without her wedding ring on her finger as she left a gym in West Hollywood, further fueling the rumors that their marriage was on the rocks.
Then, Laich posted yet another personal IG in which he
detailed his goal for the new year. He wrote: "In 2020 I look forward to releasing old identities, and stepping into a new chapter in my life ... I feel a new stage of life calling me, and though I don’t exactly know what it is yet, it feels right, and exciting!"
March 2020: They Enter Quarantine Together.
Just when it appeared that the couple was struggling in their marriage, they offered a glimmer of hope when the coronavirus pandemic hit and they
entered quarantine together.
They are spending more time together and seem happy,” a source told People on March 21. “They actually seem to have figured out how they can stay married. Both have had to make changes, Brooks especially so.”
But just when you started to breathe a sigh of relief...
April 2020: Hough And Laich Decide To Quarantine Apart.
News broke that
Hough and Laich had decided to quarantine separately on April 15. However, in an episode of his podcast "How Men Think," Laich explained that he's long been wanting to spend more time at his home in Idaho, which he bought in 2014, and saw an opportunity to do some work on the property and house itself. For her part, Hough told Oprah Magazine that she's enjoying a "magical time" reconnecting with herself while isolated in Southern California.
"I don't feel lonely, but I definitely feel alone," she said in her
Oprah Magazine interview. I think there's a big difference ... I miss people a lot, I wanna hug them and talk to them, but I'm really enjoying this time where I can really connect to what's really important in my life."
As rumors about their relationship persisted, Laich made a sweet gesture by
whipping up an epic breakfast for his wife and sharing their virtual date with fans. Meanwhile, a source told People that the couple is still together and that in fact, nothing has really changed in their relationship amidst the pandemic.
“Their relationship has always been like this though — they like to do their own thing," said the source.
BTW, "doing their own thing" apparently entails Hough chilling with her friend, actor Ben Barnes, who
she was seen strolling around with while quarantining apart from her husband.
April 2020: Hough Posts A Subtly Shady IG About "Loyalty."
On April 19, Hough
posted a mysterious quote on her Instagram Story that instantly caught followers' attention: “Never betray yourself to be loyal to others." It's unclear whether the quote was hers, or came from someone else, but regardless, it definitely raised some questions about whether Hough was taking a subtle dig at her husband.