Julianne Hough is embarking on a journey of self-discovery after undergoing a “massive transformation” two years into her marriage to husband Brooks Laich.
The “America’s Got Talent” judge got candid in the September issue of Women’s Health about how her priorities shifted after she tied the knot with the professional hockey player, and why she feared her newfound sense of self might drive them apart.
“I was connecting to the woman inside that doesn’t need anything, versus the little girl that looked to him to protect me,” Hough told the magazine. “I was like, ‘Is he going to love this version of me?’”
But the former “Dancing with the Stars” pro says the two now have a “more intimate relationship” because she revealed certain truths about herself.
“The more I dropped into my most authentic self, the more attracted he was to me,” she explained.
A key step for Hough on her journey of personal evolution was opening up to Laich about her sexuality.
“I [told him], ‘You know I’m not straight, right?’ And he was like, ‘I’m sorry, what?’ I was like, ‘I’m not. But I choose to be with you,’” she recalled.
Hough, who grew up in a strict Mormon community outside Salt Lake City alongside her brother and frequent collaborator Derek, says she needed to work through some experiences from her childhood before coming to terms with her sexuality.
“I think there’s a safety with my husband now that I’m unpacking all of this, and there’s no fear of voicing things that I’ve been afraid to admit or that I’ve had shame or guilt about because of what I’ve been told or how I was raised,” she explained.
Before going public with her relationship with Laich in 2014, Hough was previously linked to country singer Chuck Wicks and TV personality Ryan Seacrest, whom she dated for three years until 2013.
Hough and Laich tied the knot in an intimate ceremony in Idaho in 2017 and haven’t been shy about the ups and downs of married life.
During a candid conversation on Laich’s podcast last month, the couple discussed how seeking the counsel of a sex coach saved their relationship and brought them closer than ever.