If cost is a problem for the significant other, consider that extract brewing can cost twice as much as AG. (Extract kit vs. Bulk purchase AG)
There is always concern about making crap beer, but if you understand when you need perfect sanitation, and follow that, then you are not likely to make crap beer. If you also understand how important it is to keep your fermentation temps where they should be then you are very likely to make very good beer. If you also get the proper mix of ingredients and cook them just right, you are almost certainly going to make great beer.
Two of the three are identically essential for either extract or AG. The other is only slightly harder for one method.
Let's say you want to make an AG batch. Get Beersmith, or a recipe from some source, and buy the grains listed for that recipe. You can get them pre-crushed, or if you have a crusher, uncrushed and crush them at home.
Place the grains and the proper amount of water, at the proper temp (usually 150-156), into your Mash Tun (MLT), stir it up, and then let it sit for an hour.
Pour a quart or two out through the spigot into a vessel, until it starts to run clear, then move the hose into the boil kettle. Carefully pour the wort collected in the small vessel back into the top of the MLT so as to not disturb the grain bed.
When the MLT is drained, add some more water at about 170F and stir it up again. Repeat the drain procedure after about 10 minutes. This rinses the sugars from the grain.
Some people rinse twice.
That's it. Now you have wort in the boil kettle, ready to boil and add hops. The trick is knowing how much grain and water and of course what temp the water has to be to get the mash temp, because it will lose a few degrees when you put it in the MLT and mix with grain. Beersmith will calculate this for you, or you can do it on paper.
This method is called Batch Sparging, and is somewhat easier to start with. Fly sparging is similar, but requires you to add water carefully into the MLT while draining, so that the level of water above the grains stays constant. With the right equipment and experience, many people think it's easier than batch sparging.