Hi TK. I am so sorry that you are going through this depression alongside your husband. As you are experiencing, depression also affects all the people that you love and are close to. I'd like to take a second though and commend you first. Your understanding, love and patience along with your willingness to help your husband are amazing. My marriage of 13 1/2 years ended in divorce 2 months ago. While there were also other issues, my former husband could not and would not put the effort you are expending to understand what was happening to me and that it was truly out of my control to manage. His response to me and to our marriage counselor was simply, "I can't live with her anymore." Thus, with your situation, as tough as things become please hang in there. It sounds as if your marriage has had a stable foundation. And even if it does take awhile to help your husband, when he is able to understand all that you have done, he will love you all the more for it.
However, with that said....right now you also need to take care of yourself! If your husband is not able or willing to go to counseling maybe you should consider going on your own. This would give you a safe place to vent and receive support and understanding as you have the toughest job right now. When a person feels as your husband does, he/she is scared of what is and what could happen. He is also fighting denial of this cannot be "happening to me". Maybe I just need more time. Or I had a few good days. I don't need any help, I'm getting better on my own. My own personal mantra was 'I don't need/want drugs." People will think that I am crazy. It makes me feel even more hopeless. I don't want to be a zombie. What will they do to me? What will the long term effects be?? The list goes on and on. You husband may not be able to think or reason these items through logically at the moment. Its a very scary and "stripping" position to be in.
I am sorry that my response is incredibly lengthy. I just understand the pain that your husband is going through. I also respect and admire what you have set out to do. But you do need to take care of yourself and your children. Do whatever you need to keep yourself mentally and physically stable. Meet with a counselor on your own and learn whatever coping skills you will all need to get through. And most of all, I am sure that you will find that there are more good and caring friends out there than you ever thought possible. Even just one or two close friends who could keep your situation confidential and maybe help with your children.
Last, I can appreciate your fear and reluctance on how to handle your husband when he talks about ending it all. When he is like this, it is important and perhaps comforting for him to know that he is not alone. There are many people who have and are going through the same feelings as he is. Perhaps you could have a crisis number or a pastors number available when this occurs to see if this intermediate step would work. Also, if you have health insurance, check on the back of your insurance card. There should be a 24 hour toll free number that you can call. Most insurances have a behavioral health company available who can assist you and your husband at any time, especially when he is in crisis.
Again, you are truly a wonderful spouse and person. Your husband is lucky to have someone so loving and understanding.
My prayers will be with you. Please feel free to write to us whenever you need help. We have all been through this in one form or another and you will find much support here.