Gotta' tell ya' wifesbike, If I had the kind of issues you have described, I would pull the carbs and clean/inspect them regardless. While in there, I would make sure floats and needles are in good shape, passages clean, jets clean, diaphrams in good shape and not stuck. Your lucky you have a wife that wants to ride her own bike. I would make sure she had a dependable starting and running bike for her first one for sure. After cleaning and checking everything I could think of on the carbs, I would put in the irridium plugs if you don't already have them, and consider the pick-up mod to .020" clearance if it's not done already. Makes the bike start muuuuch more confidently. my2cents.
'91 VN750 - Cosmic Splendor/Candy Wine - 10k mi.
Done: Coastered, .020 ign., Iridiums, VM, Plexistar II, MCCT's
Will Do: MOSFET, Horns, Shave(maybe)