Regarding the backup are you desiring to do this via a crontab file entry? You could use rsync as root like this and it should do it:
Alternatively you could use tar:
rsynv -av /home/<wife> /backup-device/<wife>/ # as long as <wife> exists on /backup-device then root won't create it.
I suffix my backup file names with the date like this:
tar -cvpzf /backup-device/<wife>/filename /home/wife
My machine is single user so can't help with the home dir. sharing.
blah blah blah home-$dateNtime
blah blah blah etc-$dateNtime