I found this discussion very interesting as I too am a very new shooter. I am having some of the same problems as your wife. I know it is an anticipation thing that is causing me to tighten my grip and flinch. Not exactly sure how to overcome this. When I dry fire my G22 my sights don't budge at all. I can do it just about all day with a .22 case sitting on top of the front sight - it never falls. I even went out and bought a laser training pistol to use around the house for practice. I can shot down the length of a long hallway all the way across the living room and the laser makes a nice clean dot on the wall with little if any movement. But when I go out to the range the flinch is there.
I have been working on trying to pull the trigger very very slowly and that helps some as I am less sure when it will go bang. I have a 9mm conversion barrel (just got) that I am going to try this week as maybe I will be less apprehensive with it than the .40cal. I have very little problems with a .22cal, its just the bigger stuff that is haunting me right now. Any other suggestions will be greatly appreciated.