This is so hard… I can absolutely see where you are coming from, you’ve described where you are so clearly- and yet, it’s impossible to see a clear path when you are so close to your problem. In reality, there are most likely many paths available to you, and many destinations.
Do you love your husband? Why did you marry him? Assuming you do love him, how much do you like him right now? Probably not very much…
Yes, he’s not being responsible. He’s taking advantage. And he’s acting in irrational ways that make perfect sense in the context of actions made by someone who is trying to preserve their identity, and their dignity, in the face of a dramatic change to the one (marriage), and blow to the other (his work situation). I think a lot of posters have a point, that losing his job was likely devastating to him. And real estate is a tough business, but it’s likely as much a dream to him as a reality. I know the first few months of my marriage involved some major life and lifestyle changes, and negotiating the new, more future-oriented ideals and realities of our relationship produced plenty of drama… I can only imagine what I wreck I’d be if I had quit my job in the midst of that, much less lost my job in a way and at a time not of my choosing. Recently, my husband had some problems at his own work, and it was even more devastating- I make a bit more than he does, but he constantly feels he had to be "the man" in our relationship by "taking care" of me. It was I who insisted on seperate finances, at least for now. If you don’t have a prenup, a post-nup might be in order. Whereas, he agrees that his bills, his income, and his debts, remain his sole responsibility… and you keep the agreement until otherwise rescinded, which would be at least until his real estate business gets of the ground or you guys have kids and he gives it up to be a full-time caretaker, or some other major life event significantly changes the current situation.
That doesn’t mean you can’t help him- in my husband’s case, I decided if anything happened to him or his job that I could continue paying rent on our 1BR apt., and that by cutting back on eating out I could probably continue to cover food and utilities for us both. If your house is fully yours, can you keep making the payments on your own, and help him out by relieving him of paying rent on something he doesn’t have equity in (though he benefits from the equity you are building, of course)? If you are willing to make some small sacrifices for his dream- paying for basic bills, giving up fast food or maybe the premium cable- perhaps that will help him quantify your support in a way he can understand, and he can match your efforts by working enough hours at Starbucks or wherever to pay his other expenses (student loans, investments in his business, etc.)
Nothing may ever come from it, but at least you’d have made an effort to support him until he figures out a new plan- be it law, teaching, going back to school, what have you- and he can never hold that against you. I doubt you deliberately married a freeloader, and I doubt he is intentionally acting like one. Even without therapy, this may be one thing you can work through… or maybe you won’t. Thus, the importance of asking yourself- do you love him? Or did you really love the life you thought your marriage would provide?
I believe in love, and I believe marriage is as much about work as it is about love. However, you need love to make it work. If you love him, consider couples counselling if your conversation has degraded to the point that you can’t communicate without a neutral 3rd party- don’t go to fix every problem, go to learn how to fight out your problems fairly. And if he’ll consider it, counselling for him isn’t a bad idea either- if nothing else, he needs a plan with a goal he can work for and a realistic path to achieving it. But finally- try to figure out if there is any path you can take that meets his emotional needs, and yours. Maybe it won’t work out, but this seems like a lot of frustration and there’s probably some tiny, self-destructive part of him that is forcing a confrontation… maybe a part of him feels like such a failure that he’s convinced himself it will come to this eventually, and maybe he’s even convinced you. But even though you don’t believe in his dream, is it at all possible for you to meet him halfway by providing enough support that he feels secure and valued but without making you feel threatened about what it all means for the long term?