I disagree with a lot of the comments on here. I just moved out of Downtown to O'Fallon, IL and work off Vandeventer and Enright, so across from SLU. My commute from O'Fallon, IL to this area (right next to CWE) is more than 45minutes every morning, and about 30 back, depending on traffic and construction. Many of the Missourians don't realize that in the early mornings, all the construction on I 64 is horrendous and it takes 20 minutes or more sometimes just to approach the bridge, never mind how long you sit on it. Construction will always be going on on I 64 also. I leave at 7am exactly every morning and depending on which lanes are closed, I get to work by 745-8am every morning.
CWE would be better for your wife, but you would still have an hour commute if not more every day. However coming from MO to IL is MUCH easier in the morning than the reverse, it is still a 30 minute commute at least.
I'd like to correct the light rail comment. When I first moved downtown I didn't even have a car, i took the metro (rail and buses) everywhere, so I know that I am pretty knowledgeable on this subject. There is a light rail that goes to Belleville. it is the east bound redline to shiloh scott. Your wife could take it directly to her work or vice versa for you.
I do not suggest living downtown. I lived there for a year and am in my twenties. Yes there are plenty of places to go and eat, but what people don't mention is that these places are usually closed on Sundays and some places close early Saturday, which is a pain because it's the only time you can enjoy them. Also, when there are sporting events or concerts, they turn off the lights downtown and it is just the flashing red lights. In addition to that, streets are frequently closed for events (washington primarily) and you have no notice until you are there. Living in a loft was okay, but you will hear plenty of street noise all night, from honking, to people playing instruments, to people yelling...we lived in a very nice neighborhood by day (over by the culinaria on olive) but across the street at night there were clearly shady dealings and homeless people wandering around. Also the commenters need to remember that the OP mentioned children in the future. Downtown is not a place to raise children, and I don't feel that by living downtown you will get a feel for the IL side at all, other than just going to your job. We moved to an apartment in O'Fallon until we could determine if we liked metro east and which city is best, from here we plan to figure out the best neighborhood and buy a house.
I love living in O'Fallon, even with the commute. it is very suburban, but there is absolutely everything we could want here. There are restaurants, plenty of shopping areas, movie theaters, etc, and in the old section of O'Fallon there is a park where your future child can play one day. The area is really being built up. Fairview is also good, but when doing my research I found O'Fallon was the safest and overall best for us. Your future children will have a nice town with nice schools, parks and t ball teams, etc and it will have more of a hometown feel to it. I'm not against CWE, I just don't know that it would be the best place to raise a child or settle down.
Plus, since we live outside of downtown, we have the added bonus of being able to take the metro directly to the stadium (it drops you off) never have to worry about traffic or drunk driving and can enjoy all the aspects of downtown without every having to deal with the worries of crime, closed roads, driving in it, noise, etc. We get to have a fun night and then return to our quiet suburban home.
In O'Fallon off Greenmount Rd they have tons of new homes and apartment complexes in your range that are brand new with many amenities. I'd recommend this.