The first full week of 2020 brought forth many, many rumors about Julianne Hough, Brooks Laich, and the state of their marriage (and we don't know where they came from).
They rarely post on Instagram about one another. They did, however, show a united front back in September when their two sweet pups tragically died on the same day. The causes of death have not been released.Besides this, everything with the couple since the fall has remained seemingly ho-hum.
It appears Julianne's recent Instagram activity became the spark of the fire - the first point of "controversy" came from a post showing her decorating for Christmas sans wedding ring. Also, the most recent post that includes her hubby dates back to August of last year (he was not included in her personal announcement of the dogs' passing in September).
Everything since then has looked great - glamorous, even - highlighting her gig as a judge on America's Got Talent and her recent holiday special with superstar brother, Derek Hough.
Following the beginning of a new year, husband Brooks Laich didn't do much for the Instagram cause when a photo came along with a very lengthy (yet very vague) caption.
In his post, Laich says that he looks forward "to releasing old identities, and stepping into a new chapter in [his] life." What does that mean? "I don’t exactly know what it is yet, it feels right, and exciting!” Sounds like he's unsure too.
Brooks then went into great detail about new hobbies he's picked up, including "coloring intricate mandalas, listening to instrumental music, dancing," and singing in church.
But he never mentions his wife. Maybe she's helping him on the dancing front? It's only logical to assume so.
But just one day after multiple sources began claiming that the couple are spending time apart, Hough and Laich reportedly shared a long, heartfelt embrace at Hollywood Burbank Airport.
Interestingly, though, while Laich was proudly donning his wedding band, Hough's was still nowhere to be seen. Julianne also received flack on the national level for not wearing her non-ring-wearing-ways while hosting NBC's New Year's Eve with Carson Daly.
Which, hey - some married people wear rings, some don't, and it's kind of ok. It doesn't make them any less married.
Hough and Laich were married in the summer of 2017. Although a source tells PEOPLE that "they've been having problems for months," and that Julianne's independent, "free spirit...[has] been tough on Brooks and their marriage," reps for the couple have declined any comment to this point.
Other insiders are not so sure on the couple's future, saying it's unclear if this is just a phase (whatever that means). Whatever "it" is, Hough and Laich are choosing not to publicly address it at this time.
However, it appears that the couple is much stronger than what is being widely reported.
Laich has been publicly open about their struggles with in-vitro fertilization since the summer of 2019. Around two years after the beginning of their marriage, Laich commended his wife for her dedication to the process. And although Hough has been also been publicly outspoken about her battle with endometriosis, it appears she kept it a secret from Brooks while they were dating.
She recently told Women's Health about the authenticity she finds within herself by being married to Brooks. In a nutshell, Hough says she is connecting more to a fearless, independent self over a little girl needing protection. She also opened up to him about her sexuality ("You know I'm not straight, right?")
This openness brought them to a stronger place. "When I dropped into my most authentic self, the more attracted he was to me. Now we have a more intimate relationship."
It sounds like there is nothing to worry about for this power couple.