Brooks Laich “cries all the time”.

Brooks Laich and Julianne Hough

Brooks Laich and Julianne Hough

The 35-year-old hockey player – whose estranged wife Julianne Hough filed for divorce earlier this week, six months after they separated – has learned to be more in touch with his emotions and isn’t afraid to shed a tear any more after previously feeling “unemotional in personal relationships."

Speaking on his ‘How Men Think’ podcast, he said: "I cry all the time and it’s wonderful. It's something I've recently learned since the passing of our two dogs.

"I've learned how to honour emotions in the moment and let them come up and through me and out of me, and a lot of times that's through crying.

"And you know me ... I played pro hockey for 15 years, threw dudes into dudes. I'm a dude. But I love being able to release emotion truthfully, organically, in the moment [and] not suppress it."

The sportsman explained he had previously tried to “stuff” his feelings but realised it was “not healthy” to do so and now finds it “liberating” to be open about his emotions.

He added: “It's liberating to allow and give yourself the grace and the capacity to just allow that emotion to live and come out. And then it's like, 'Oh, god. That felt great.’

"I've just learned that, and it is so liberating to honour those emotions and let them come to life. And then they don't persist with you."

Brooks and 32-year-old Julianne and her estranged spouse announced their separation in a joint statement earlier this year, after they had spent months self-isolating separately amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Their statement read: "We have lovingly and carefully taken the time we have needed to arrive at our decision to separate. We share an abundance of love and respect for one another and will continue to lead with our hearts from that place. We kindly request your compassion and respect for our privacy moving forward.”

And a source later said their decision to split came as Julianne “wasn’t ready to build a family” with Brooks.

A source said in May: "In the last two years, those closest to Julianne and Brooks watched as they grew apart. Julianne seemed to be going through a period of self-discovery and change which isn't what Brooks had planned for. He loved the life they had and wanted nothing more than to build a family together but Julianne wasn't ready. [Brooks] isn’t ready to date yet and is just trying to get used to his life as a single guy.”

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