Former hockey player Brooks Laich and his wife Julianne Hough announced on May 29 that they are separating after three years of marriage. They decided while remaining apart during the COVID-19 pandemic, but one source says that Laich wasn't ready to call it quits. He reportedly fought against the divorce while quarantining in Idaho.
Speaking with PEOPLE in an interview, a source close to Laich revealed the former hockey player was "determined to make it work" with Hough. He reportedly focused on ways that he could change to ensure his happiness. Ultimately, however, Laich realized that the marriage had to end. It was time for him to enjoy living in nature.
"Brooks was determined to make it work, but he was constantly questioning what changes he needed to make for Julianne to be happy," the source said. "He was fighting with this for months, and it was very hard for him to let go of his marriage. 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."
When Laich decided to spend quarantine in Idaho, he faced several questions. He addressed all of the concerns during an episode of his podcast, How Men Think. Laich explained that he has wanted to spend time on the 10-acre property since purchasing it in 2014, and felt that the pandemic was a perfect time. The former hockey player also did not go alone. He took the couple's husky, Koda.
"Koda is awesome, man. I'm up in Idaho, I'm at my house in Idaho," said Laich. "I spend all day outside. I'm outside from like, 7:30 until 5 o'clock. I have 10-and-a-half acres here. Our property's pretty big, and I've just been doing a mass cleaning of it. Like, everything. Building some rock walls, chainsawing down some trees, clearing brush, you name it."
As Laich continued to explain, his property is about 15 minutes outside of town, and he has primarily been alone. He occasionally sees his neighbors while walking his dogs, but they are all practicing social distancing. He said that is perfectly fine due to him being an "introvert."
With the news of their split, Laich will continue to work on his property on Idaho. A source close to the couple said that they will love and support each other. They just will not spend the rest of their lives together as spouses.