Why Felicity Huffman Was Scared to Marry William H. Macy

"Desperate Housewives" alum explains how marriage scared and saved her.

Feb. 24, 2015— -- Felicity Huffman may have played one of the "Desperate Housewives" but, in real life, she was adamant that she didn't want to become one.

"I was so scared of marriage that I thought I would've preferred to step in front of a bus," the actress, 52, told the Tribune News Service.

"I thought I'd disappear. Men's stock when they get married goes up. Women's stock goes down. Another thing, 60 percent of first marriages fail, 80 percent of second marriages fail."

With those odds, Huffman was hesitant to marry husband and fellow actor William H. Macy, even though they were together for 15 years.

"Bill Macy asked me to marry him several times over several years. And I was finally smart enough to go: ‘I'm going to marry this guy or really lose him for good,'" Huffman told the Tribune. "And it was after we broke up for four or five years when he asked me again, I knew I couldn't say no."

But first she had some work to do on herself.

"It was the work I had to do in order to bring myself to the marriage and then the work that I did to be able to trust another person and see what comes out of that comfort and that safety," she said. "I was able to blossom out of that."

The couple finally wed in 1997, and Huffman credits that love with helping her through a crippling depression.

"I went through a very, very dark three years," she said about the time, from ages 28 to 31, before they married. "It was that kind of depression where I just wished I was dead, that kind of relentless — I just wished I was dead."

The actress, who plays the ex-wife of Timothy Hutton on ABC's new drama "American Crime," said she recovered through "the love of my family, through therapy. I came out of it."

Looking back, she said, "That dark time changed me, I think, for the better."