Hello and thank you for your question.
It sounds like this has been a major transition for both you and your family, to go from such a stable position for many years, to work that is inconsistent and therefore more unsure. That is difficult for anyone, and as you know, though you may feel alone, there are so many people in your exact same situation in this tough economy. So, one thing you are not, is alone!
Can you tell me what kind of changes have occurred in the marriage due to this career shift? Is there not enough income, so stress is high? Or are there other dynamics going on in the marriage?
Thank you for the additional information. I'm not sure what you mean when you say the agents and head-hunters are coming after you, but as you said, their job is to find the best qualified candidate and also to deal with incomes, salaries, etc. so money is a huge part of their job etc. So, they may feel like sharks but perhaps just reframing your thoughts of them as being a resource for you would be helpful.
Of course you are going to feel more alone when your wife is not supportive of you and blames you for the lack of steady full-time work. She must not understand what is involved in finding work in this economy or exactly what your situation is, etc. What is good is that you don't give up on anything and though you have encountered some "bad" people out there, you will also run into some good opportunities and people as well.
What would be helpful for you right now, is to gain support at home while also reframing your experience of your job search into something that will happen, and that you will attain. The additional stress at home really needs to be addressed as it's something that can be worked through now, rather than later. Ask your wife exactly what you can do, so that she will not feel bitter or resentful and then do those things. Ask her to give you specifics about what she thinks you have not done or need to do still regarding your job search so that you better understand where her feelings are coming from. If you feel defensive, just take a deep breath and let her know clearly exactly what you are doing, and what your plans are towards the search. Let her know that the bad experiences you have had, are in the past, and that you know there are opportunities out there.
Then get on the phone, and have an agent set up interviews for you, and try to have at least one per week or something always going.... the momentum will be good for you, even if it's not the perfect opportunity.
If you would like to provide your zip code, I can give you a list of therapists in your area and perhaps you and your wife could get a few sessions together....Please click ACCEPT button for this answer, and feel free to continue the discussion even after clicking accept. Thank you!
Okay the first link is therapists directly in Rockville, who I narrowed down to those who address coping skills during transitional times, feeling alone, etc. The second link are therapists in your zip code. I wish you all the best and really encourage you to seek out some counseling as I think it could really help you to feel supported, validated and help you with how you are feeling. And it will be a nice change for someone who has been the mentor to others, to be on the receiving end of some of that same support and guidance. Please accept and I wish you the best.