Thank you for your replies so far. as i stated this purchase is as much for me (if not more) and i would never transfer ownership.
If that's the case, why mention the wife to the counterman at all? You are free to let anyone shoot your guns in your presence. I don't know the laws in your state as far as possession goes so I can't comment on that.
If it's a gun you are buying for yourself I see no problem. When you tell the FFL holder you are buying it for someone else to shoot it muddies the water. As far as he's concerned you are saying that you are buying it for someone else to possess and that is a big no-no.
There is no need to explain your purchase to the guy doing the transfer. Why you buy the gun is your business as long as it is legal.