Inside Julianne Hough and Brooks Laich's Split: Why They 'Didn't See Eye to Eye'

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Julianne Hough and Brooks Laich had very different ideas when it came to their marriage, leading to their breakup three years after tying the knot, a source tells ET.

The 31-year-old dancer and the 36-year-old hockey player announced their split on Friday in a joint statement, noting that they still love and respect one another. Prior to the announcement, the two made headlines due to their decision to not quarantine together amid the coronavirus pandemic -- Hough remained in Los Angeles, while Laich went to Idaho to work on his property there.

According to our source, the two had been experiencing marriage problems well before their announcement.

"It has taken Julianne and Brooks some time to find the right moment to announce their split," the source says. "They haven't been happy together for a long time but needed to come to terms with the fact that their marriage was over."

The source says that ultimately, their different desires when it came to their future together became too much to overcome.

"They truly had a loving, romantic relationship, a fairy-tale wedding and believed they would spend the rest of their lives together but within two years, their views of marriage differed tremendously," the source says. "Brooks loves his outdoor life in Idaho, wanted a more traditional marriage and to start a family. Julianne wanted a less traditional marriage, to focus on her career and loves her city life and Hollywood existence."

"Brooks fell in love with Julianne but they have been living in different homes and even different states for months," the source continues. "They have been happier apart than together and realized they had no choice but to go their separate ways. Despite truly loving each other, they just didn't see eye to eye."

Last month, Hough told Women's Health that she and Laich never actively tried to have kids together, though she did freeze her eggs as a result of her endometriosis diagnosis, which means she may need to undergo IVF in order to get pregnant.

"We never actually tried to get pregnant. It was more of a precautionary measure: Let's do our due diligence for the future by freezing eggs," she explained, noting that while she is interested in becoming a parent, she isn't planning to do so on anyone else's timeline. "I believe in soul love, whatever that looks like. I kind of don't believe in labels. It doesn't mean that I won't have a baby, etc. It just means that I’ve unplugged from what I feel like I should be doing versus what I actually want to be doing."

Meanwhile, in April, a source told ET that the two were still trying to work on their marriage amid rumors they were heading toward a split.

"They talk often but this is a very hard time," the source said of the couple, who tied the knot near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, in 2017. "They've been working on their marriage and being apart is not easy."

Later that month, Laich explained why he went to Idaho to quarantine on his iHeartRadio podcast, How Men Think.

"There's a part of me that enjoys isolation and there's a part of me that just gets drained when I'm around too many people," Laich said.

Meanwhile, Hough also talked about quarantining separately during an Instagram Live session.

"I don't feel lonely, but I definitely feel alone," she said. "I think there's a big difference. I feel alone... I miss people a lot, I wanna hug them and talk to them, but I'm really enjoying this time where I can really connect to what's really important in my life and look forward to when we get out of this, who do I want to step into? Who do I want to arrive in this new world as?"

"I think in my 30s, I've always been around people, and I'm always trying to create and do a lot of things... but this is new, it's a little different," she continued.

ET recently spoke with Dancing With the Stars' judge Carrie Ann Inaba, who shared her support for Hough amid her split.

"I'm really sad," she said of the news. "I get how relationships go up and down  ... You have to follow your heart because life is once, that we remember, and it's so hard to be married in the spotlight and then break up."

For more on Hough and Laich's breakup, watch the video below:

-- Reporting by Adriane Schwartz

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