"Brooks can only change but so much to try to keep her," a source tells PEOPLE

By Eric Todisco
January 09, 2020 05:25 PM
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Julianne Hough has evolved as a person during her two years of marriage to Brooks Laich, a source with knowledge of the situation tells PEOPLE — and her priorities may be different than they were when she said “I do.”

“Julianne wants to become a new age, free-spirit, no boundaries guru, and she is living her life by this sort of ‘no limits, no rules’ mantra, and that doesn’t vibe with being a wife,” the source says.

“It’s still complicated because she loves Brooks and she always will—she just thinks she is a completely different person than she was when she married him,” the source continues. “She’s had a total awakening and transformation, and it’s ongoing, and she isn’t able or interested in going back to who she was.”

PEOPLE has requested comment from reps for both Hough and Laich.

Last August, Hough, 31, came out as “not straight” to Women’s Health, admitting she had worried that Laich, 36, wouldn’t understand her sexuality. However, the former Dancing with the Stars judge said the the two forged “a more intimate relationship” after their conversation.

Brooks Laich and Julianne Hough
| Credit: Ali Buck

The source tells PEOPLE that the former America’s Got Talent judge “really does hope” that her NHL star husband “will remain in her life in some way.”

“He’s always been her biggest fan and has been willing to back her up in anything she wanted to do,” the source continues.

Hough’s relationship with Brooks, which began in 2014, “came at a time when she really had so much confusion in so many other areas of her life,” the source says.

“And suddenly here was this guy willing to be her rock, to be her support no matter what, and that was just what she needed,” the source says. “But since then, she’s started to get more clarity on other parts of her life.”

RELATED VIDEO: Julianne Hough Says She Feels Freedom After Saying She’s ‘Not Straight’: ‘I’m Not Carrying It’

Hough first rose to fame as a professional dancer and later judge on DWTS. Since then, the Emmy winner appeared in the Grease: Live special in 2016 and served as a judge for one season of America’s Got Talent last year before her and Gabrielle Union‘s controversial exits. Her acting credits include 2011’s remake of Footloose, the 2013 Nicholas Spark adaptation Safe Haven and a 2019 episode in Netflix’s Dolly Parton anthology, Heartstrings.

She’s embracing the lifestyle side of her brand. Last weekend, Hough joined Oprah Winfrey in Fort Lauderdale to kick off her nationwide wellness tour, Oprah’s 2020 Vision Tour presented by WW. Hough will be teaching a dance workout at every show.

Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty

The source claims that there are “real and deep changes” to Hough’s psyche, but that she is embracing them and “has no interest in going backwards.”

“Brooks can only change but so much to try to keep her,” the source says. “She’s spreading her wings now and no one, not Brooks or anyone, can really tie her down at this point.”

Many fans noticed Hough 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. Laich did wear his ring in a Jan. 2 workout video.

Hough and Laich 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.