Dad said "Don't marry unless you can't stand not to." Seemed like good advice and when I found Marcy nothing else was as important as spending my life with her. We have forty three years together and in spite of the occasional rough seas I still think I'm better off with her than I could ever be without her. And if she doesn't think the same she is at least polite enough not to tell me.
So with that qualification I have a few thoughts.
Our OP doesn't say what type of cruising he prefers now. There is sail around the world or go anywhere the wind
blows type and there is more local type. A lot of people spend a good portion of their lives "down East" or on the Great Lakes
or in the Caribbean
and have little desire for anyplace else. He has tried the tropical "island time" stuff and it didn't suit him long term. I note that a lot of cruiser traps like the Rio Dulce tend to start cocktail hour by noon. Fine if that is what you want but it does get hard for the older body.
My thought is if she isn't willing to put up with a little discomfort for short trips I would be concerned about her commitment. However living full time aboard is not everyones cup of tea. We still have a place in the mountains and she would be very uncomfortable without a place that doesn't move. So of the couples I've met that are happy on the boat and have been so for some time together here are a few things that ladies seem to like and was on our "must have" list. Particularly as they get a little less limber and move a little slower and need to use the head
several times in the middle of the night.
A bunk that they can get in and out of without climbing over someone and can be made without climbing on.
separate from the head
so you don't have to get on your hands and knees to clean the toilet when you have just gotten clean and non sweaty.
A real chair so one can (even with a bad back) sit comfortably and read a book.
Windows positioned so that one can see out and enjoy the wildlife while sitting in said chair.
Enough pairs of gloves so that if one gets lost
she still has protection for her hands.
And yes, as many have surmised, none of the classic yachts that I can afford made the cut. There are several center cockpit
boats that have been mentioned that will do so quite nicely.