Brooks Laich talks ‘new stage’ as wife Julianne Hough is seen without ring

In addition to learning more about his sexuality, Brooks Laich is embracing the idea of being “boundless” in the new year.

Julianne Hough‘s husband explained Tuesday on Instagram the word came to mind after a conversation with a friend on New Year’s Eve, who asked the Canadian-born hockey player, 36, about the adjective guiding him in 2020.

“I then immediately fell in love with this question. And the word that keeps coming up for me right now is ‘boundless,’” Laich posted. “I feel like a lot of my life has been ‘bound’ to certain identities that have come through the sport I spent my life playing. Canadian, male, hockey player, disciplined, competitive, etc… and though I am all of those things, they do not define me, and I am not bound by them.”

Laich, who played for the Washington Capitals and the Los Angeles Kings during his NHL career, also stated he looks “forward to releasing old identities, and stepping into a new chapter in my life. I find myself wanting to officially say the words ‘I retire’ from professional hockey, instead of vehemently resisting it as I have been for the last 2 years.

“I feel a new stage of life calling me, and though I don’t exactly know what it is yet, it feels right, and exciting,” he stated, adding, “So in 2020, I am ‘boundless’ and on a new journey.”

The timing of Laich’s message is curious as Hough, 31, has been seen without her wedding ring in recent Instagram posts, according to Us Weekly, including a video from Christmas Eve.

Both Hough and Laich have been candid about their private lives over the past year. Hough revealed she’s “not straight” in the September 2019 issue of Women’s Health.

The couple — who tied the knot in 2017 — also spoke last July about consulting with a sex educator.

Reps for Hough did not immediately return our request for comment.

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