It's very difficult to go from being self employed to having a boss, but it can, and is being done every day. Many small businesses have failed as a result of this economy. Do you think your husband is depressed over losing his business? The reason I ask is that depression causes us to lose interest in things, takes away any and all motivation, to a point of just not caring. It sounds like your husband just doesn't care anymore and it may be depression driving this, which would be understandable. He may feel like a failure having lost his business, or has lost his feeling of self worth. Most of us just try that much harder to get back on our feet, but if hit with depression, this drive is gone. All the talking in the world won't help your husband so you have two choices as I see it. Talk to him about seeking help with all that's happened to him, as therapy and medication can get him going again. Or, you may need to threaten him with divorce to motivate him. The thing is, if he has depression, the threat of divorce may not be enough either, because he is just lost and doesn't care. It's not something he can help, or will get better on it's own, he needs professional help. I understand where you're coming from because you've endured a lot and have been patient with him, but enough is enough! We are small business owners and I just read your post to my husband and the first thing he blurted out was "depression!" He said he probably has been fired from all the jobs because he just doesn't want to be there because when you've been your own boss for so long it's difficult to do anything else........... a man's opinion! LOL I would do whatever it took to get and keep a job and be happy I even had a job! I think your husband either needs to get help or you need to put your foot down. Yeah, it's tough and all, but you still have to live and survive and it's time he does his part! I'm sure lots of men will have some valuable advice for you, so stay with us. I do wish you all the best!
I'd definitely take the full-time hours, but if you are seriously worried that he simply will stop caring about getting a job, I'd certainly downplay your bit of good luck somehow. I don't want to tell you to lie to him, but it is not the first thing I would tell him. (It might just depress him more, "My wife can get a job where they appreciate her, why can't I?") In your shoes, I'd just go to work and come back and if my husband asked where I was for so long, I'd act like it was temporary or no big deal.
As for the rest, can you get your husband into counseling of any kind? Do you have a pastor he can talk to? If not, you are just going to have to try once, having a calm talk, and if that does not work (you say "he does not respond well to" most of what an adult would try) you are going to have to decide how much of this you really want on your back until he snaps out of it. I'd consider getting myself a nice little apartment and separating, at least for a while.
Here's hoping you don't have to go to those extremes.
I forgot to ask, do you have kids? Some guys get a kick out of being a stay-at-home dad if they lose their job, and find it rewarding. Any possibilities there, that is, of you being the breadwinner and him being the caregiver at home?
One last suggestion, and it is probably going to sound unrealistic but it might help to snap him out of his depression -- what if he started to develop and plan out a "dream job" for himself, that he doesn't expect to be able to create for a while but he can plan for it now? It might cheer him up to have something to plan for.