Here's one option you may consider -
I work in a NYC suburb located in NJ - approximately 17 miles from the city.
Several towns in my area offer the "Mid Town Direct" train right into Penn Station - the commute can average 30-45 min, depending on your stop.
Much will depend on your price range.
I recently rented an elegant 4 BR, 3.5 bth home in Short HIlls, a very high end, desirable town with wonderful schools, shopping, restaurants and boutiques for $6000 (it was walking distance to the train) - there are other homes starting in the $4000 range. There might be some options in neighboring towns starting in the $3500 range.
Towns in my area to consider include (here's a short list):
in addition to Millburn/Short Hills - Summit, Livingston, Madison, Chatham, Montclair, & Morristown, just to mention a few.
By comparison, Manhattan would cost in the $3000- 4000+ range just for a 2 BR/2bth apartment in a doorman building.
Best wishes.......plesse let me know if you'd like to explore the possibilities in my area!
Good luck with your move.