Julianne Hough and Brooks Laich Have 'Been Having Problems for Months,' Source Says

The couple tied the knot in 2017 during an outdoor ceremony outside of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Julianne Hough and Brooks Laich have hit a rough patch in their marriage, multiple sources confirm to PEOPLE.

“They’ve been having problems for months,” one source says. “She’s very independent and a free spirit, and that’s been tough for Brooks and their marriage.”

But a second insider says the couple, who have been married for two years, haven’t given up hope on their relationship.

“It seems they are not giving up, but also not talking about it. They want to do this their way. They don’t want to discuss their marriage. They have been having problems, but many people do,” the insider explains.

Their reps have not commented.

Many fans noticed Hough, 31, was without her wedding ring as she celebrated the New Year with Carson Daly while co-hosting NBC’s New Year’s Eve. She was also ringless in a Dec. 24 Instagram video, but it is unclear if she has completely stopped wearing her wedding band. Laich, 36, did wear his ring in a Jan. 2 workout video.

“Maybe it’s a just a phase, maybe not,” the insider adds. “But either way they are not going to address it publicly right now.”

Julianne Hough and Brooks Laich
Julianne Hough and Brooks Laich in L.A. in August 2019. Frazer Harrison/Getty

News of the marital conflict comes shortly after Laich shared a cryptic Instagram about his intentions and goals for the new year.

“On New Year’s Eve, I had a friend ask me ‘what’s your adjective for the new year?’ ” wrote Laich, 36. “I asked him what he meant, and he said it’s about picking a word that is going to be a guide for you in 2020. His word was ‘mindful’ – he wanted to be more mindful of his time, his friendships, his money, etc. and throughout the year he will remind himself to be ‘mindful’ of all things in his life.”

“I then immediately fell in love with this question,” Laich added. “And the word that keeps coming up for me right now is ‘boundless.’ I feel like a lot of my life has been ‘bound’ to certain identities that have come through the sport I spent my life playing. Canadian, male, hockey player, disciplined, competitive, etc… and though I am all of those things, they do not define me, and I am not bound by them.”

He continued, “In 2020 I look forward to releasing old identities, and stepping into a new chapter in my life. I find myself wanting to officially say the words ‘I retire’ from professional hockey, instead of vehemently resisting it as I have been for the last 2 years. 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!”

The former Dancing with the Stars pro/judge and the NHL star tied the knot in July 2017 in an outdoor ceremony outside of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The pair announced their engagement in August 2015 following a year and a half of dating.

The duo have also opened up about trying to get pregnant via in vitro fertilization. Laich shared on his iHeartRadio podcast How Men Think in July 2019 that Hough had started the process the previous summer.

Hough, who has endometriosis, also froze some of her eggs in 2018. “The commitment that she made to us having a family is something I’ll never forget,” Laich said on his podcast.

Last August, Hough candidly opened up about her sexuality to Women’s Health, admitting she had worried Laich wouldn’t understand her fluidity.

“I was connecting to the woman inside that doesn’t need anything, versus the little girl that looked to him to protect me,” she said. “I was like, ‘Is he going to love this version of me?’ But the more I dropped into my most authentic self, the more attracted he was to me.”

She recalled telling Laich, “You know I’m not straight, right?”

“And he was like, ‘I’m sorry what?’” she continued. “I was like, ‘I’m not. But I choose to be with you.’ “

After that conversation, Hough said the two forged “a more intimate relationship.”

They’ve also weathered the loss of her beloved Cavalier King Charles spaniels, Lexi and Harley, who both died on Sept. 28, 2019, without explanation.

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