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Brooks Laich Reveals How Wife Julianne Hough Has ‘Challenged’ Him (Exclusive)

Supporting loved ones. Brooks Laich opened up about how his wife, Julianne Hough, has “challenged” during their nearly six-year-long relationship.

Related: Julianne Hough, Brooks Laich: A Timeline of Their Whirlwind Romance

“I am so grateful to [have] her presence in my life every day. I’m grateful for the way she has challenged me, and the way that I have grown since meeting her,” the former NHL player, 35, told Us Weekly recently. “I feel like I’m a completely different person and I’ve grown to be the man that I had always hoped I would be, and I’m still working on it. I’m not perfect, continue to grow, but she, without a doubt, has brought out the best in me and I am grateful that she chooses to be in my life every single day.”

One of the biggest ways Hough, 30, has challenged her husband is by allowing him to “be open to other opportunities,” including his upcoming iHeartRadio podcast, “How Men Think.”

Related: See Julianne Hough and Brooks Laich’s Dreamy Wedding Weekend

Brooks Laich Wears A Brown Suit and White Shirt and Julianne Hough
Brooks Laich and Julianne Hough attend Steven Tyler’s Second Annual GRAMMY Awards Viewing Party to benefit Janie’s Fund presented by Live Nation at Raleigh Studios on February 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for Janie's Fund

“She’s been a rock for me. Super supportive and also challenging. She’s been challenging me to grow and try and experience new things,” he shared. “When the opportunity [for] this podcast came up, I wasn’t sure I wanted to do it and she pushed me into looking at it a different way, looking at it as a way to serve and impact and carry on the lessons that I’ve learned in my life and through my sport and the opportunity to serve other people.”

Laich added: “She’s challenged me to try other things. But all the while, she has more belief, I think, in me than even I do in myself, and I’m a pretty strong, confident guy. But she encourages me to try as many things as possible because she doesn’t want my vision to be limited.”

He also noted that his new podcast, which includes singer Gavin DeGraw as a cohost, will be “something where the listener could be entertained while really picking up solid advice that is actionable into their life.”

Related: Hollywood’s Hottest Married Couples

Laich married Hough in Lake Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, in July 2017. Their nuptials came after the couple announced their engagement in August 2015, nearly two years into their relationship.

The Washington Capitals alum admitted to Us that he “had no balance and no happiness” in his life until he met the Dancing With the Stars alum. He also credited her with allowing him to find “fulfillment” outside of hockey.

“I found my life partner,” he told Us. “I found my favorite person in the world, my best friend, the person I can confide in, the person I trust the most, my lover, and to be involved in her life is absolutely incredible.”

“How Men Think” premieres on iHeartRadio Sunday, June 16.

With reporting by Marc Lupo

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