Originally Answered: Can you give me some honest advice?
You are in a really bad spot. I can only say that there is a deeper rooted problem than what you see on the surface. You need to have a very serious and direct conversation with him. BUT, do not approach him with any style you have tried before. Instead, try to learn what is the root problem. I have a hard time believing that he actually wants to be dependent on you for everything. He has a significant self esteem problem right now. He feels like he has no value as a man, and that he isn't doing what a man does. THAT in itself is so hard for a man to feel, and when you approach him about a job, it stings very badly and initiates his defensive behaviors. You have to accept that he may very well have some real emotional problems like depression. He fits the pattern, like how you describe him actually avoiding work. Yes, this is more common than you may realize. When men feel like they are a burden instead of provider, especially after a long time, they begin to decline in assertiveness, they lose motivation, and they even fear the thought of having to be that provider they think they are supposed to be. Your best chance at improving your situation is to tell him that you love him and you want to help him. Tell him you don't think any less of him as a man, and that you still respect him. Tell him that it's ok to feel bad about yourself now and then. Tell him that you believe in him and that you know that things will be ok. Tell him you think about the man he will become and that you want to be a partner in getting him there. Talk to him like you're his FRIEND, not his wife. "so, what's up man?", "what do you think will get you going?", that type of language. Get him to open up about how he is feeling about not working. Let me tell you, I was exactly like him after losing my job and being out of work for over 8 months!! I avoided everything, and did nothing all day...all while my wife worked! I knew I should have been looking for work, helping around the house, but I felt like total crap! Worthless!, like she didn't want me anymore! so, if she asked me to help around the house it only made me feel like ****, and even more worthless. It took a deep reflection into my feelings and a lot of talking and writing things out for me to realize that I was depressed and it effected everything around me. My thoughts, my energy, my body, and so I became lazy, unmotivated, which only made it all worse. Once I realized my mental state was beyond my control, I searched for solutions. I found that music, writing, and opening up about how I felt at different points of the day made me conscious of what I was thinking and how that effected me. Within a week I was re-energized and focused. I went back to work, my confidence was restored, and now I easily spot your situation. You sound like you need help, and I hope that I gave you some insight as to what may be going on with his head. If you want to stay married, then get him to understand his feelings and talk. Get him to write, anything that will make him see himself from outside his current thinking. It saved me, I hope this helps in some way. I wish you the very best, and tell him that he is not alone. There are millions of men in the same boat with him. It's OK for men to need help, god knows I did. Society, unfortunately, makes men believe they cant ever be weak, can't ever be afraid, and so...to avoid the humility of it all, we shut down and close up from everything and put on the mask of "everything is just fine, so leave me alone". Oh the tragic results we face from the unskilled parenting of our fathers. I guess they meant well, but the damage they did will be uncovered for years to come.