No one would disagree that there are righteous Protestants. There are. I have known many in my life.
You said you could not imagine Christ abandoning those outside of the Church. Christ is always faithful to his Bride and does not abandon anybody. Truthfully, it is the founders of these countless breakaway sects who abandoned the Church, and by it, the faith Christ intended for them.
This does not mean Protestants are out of luck. The righteous Protestants I know never chose to reject the Church. They were born into a time and place where the Orthodox Church did not really exist, and never knew about the Orthodox Church, so they are blameless in the matter. Christ desires the salvation of all, and I believe he makes a way for them (we cannot know this for sure, but I believe it fits with God's character better than the alternative).
That being said, we do know for sure that the Church does in fact lead not only to righteousness, but holiness and God-likeness. While non-Orthodox people may stumble around in the weeds their whole lives and ultimately emerge before the pearly gates, we have a narrow paved road that leads right up to them. This way is certain, because it is the way given by Christ to the Apostles, and which the Apostles have passed down to us. There is no more searching for the next better thing, there is only living the life Christ told us to live, in the framework of the Church he has given us.
Another factor is communion. Of course there are some non-Orthodox people and preachers and communities that teach all the right things. But Orthodoxy is not just a set of beliefs. It is a physical communion that makes up a physical body. One could believe all the right things, but that does not make one a part of the communion of the Church. It may be accounted as righteousness, but the real thing is much better.
To the issue of your wife, I know lots of people who are in the same position. After much prayer and priestly direction (and longer-than-usual time as catechumens), in the end most of them converted without their spouses. Others are in a sort of limbo, unable to move in either direction. For those who part ways spiritually with their spouse, they felt it was more important to be in communion with the Church than to attend services with their spouse. In the passage about unequal yokes, the Apostle indicates that the prayers of a husband or wife who comes to Christ are powerful and has an effect on the other spouse.
It's not an easy position to be in. If you haven't already, you should meet with the priest of the parish you attend and tell him all these things. He is in a better position to help than any of us on the Internet. You may be able to become a catechumen if you want to continue pursuing this, and as the church continuously prays for the catechumens, you'll have extra support there.