Before Brooks Laich and Julianne Hough announced they were calling off their marriage after nearly three years of marriage in May, a source close to the couple told Us Weekly the pro hockey player didn't want their relationship to end. The former couple, who had been quarantining in different states, reportedly had their fair share of issues before things went south.
"Her actions are what caused her divorce with Brooks," the source explained. "Brooks did not want a divorce, but he felt pushed toward it because of how Julianne was behaving. But Brooks is not the one who is bummed now." A different source had told Us earlier in the week that the Dancing With the Stars alum was "super upset" about the divorce, adding that she was "not doing great" and her switch to darker hair is a "reflection of her feelings." The other insider noted, "Her friends think Brooks was an amazing, strapping dude and aren’t sure why she let him go or messed it up," but added that Laich "doesn’t have anyone new in his life right now romantically speaking."
Spending time apart amid the coronavirus pandemic, with Hough sheltering in Los Angeles and Laich moving to his cabin in Idaho, appears to have been a clarifying factor for the athlete. A source told PEOPLE earlier this month that while Laich was "determined" to make their relationship work, he was "constantly questioning what changes he needed to make for Julianne to be happy."
"He was fighting with this for months, and it was very hard for him to let go of his marriage," they continued. "It really took the lockdown and them being separated for two months for him to realize that it is time to let go. He has been happy living by himself in nature."
Following months of speculation, the couple announced their split in May, marking the end of their nearly three years of marriage. "We have lovingly and carefully taken the time we have needed to arrive at our decision to separate," they said in a joint statement at the time. "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."
It appears that Laich is still close with his ex's family, however, as the former Ontario Reign player celebrating his 37th birthday Tuesday with Hough’s brother, Derek Hough, and the World of Dance judge’s girlfriend, Hayley Erbert, sharing a workout video together on social media.