I would recommend that you spend some time sailing on other people's boats. The more experience you have on other boats, the better an idea you'll have of what you are looking for in a boat.
Also, how sure are you that you're up for an Atlantic crossing? The east coast of the USA, the Caribbean and central/south america provide a lot of grounds to cruise without requiring a bluewater passage. If you're not 100% sure of making an Atlantic crossing, you really don't need a bluewater boat.
Also, do you have any experience on multihulls or just monohulls? In the Caribbean, multihulls are becoming pretty common, and they do provide a lot more living space than a comparable length monohull. Many are capable of bluewater crossings.
Does your wife have any sailing experience? If not, I would recommend that she take at least a learn to sail course, preferably an all-women's course. It has been my experience that couples generally learn better when learning separately.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.