Could be the wifes fault. I professionally de-virus anywhere from 3 to 15 PCs a week, my bet is again on the hubby. But thats just my cynical view, haha. Anyhow, hijackthis is the program I would use- but I know how to use it. Be very careful, if you dont know what the entry its referring to is, dont delete it. You can mess up IE that way.
Best bet is to disable enough of the spyware temporarily to get a good antivirus sw installed, and have it scan. I like anti-virus gold, and trendmicros online scanner. Trendmicro (housecall.trendmicro.com) is great at detecting and ridding you of trojans.
Once the viruses are out, then you can go to work on the spyware. I would use spybot search and destroy- load it, update it, immunize, then go to advance settings and have it set to "scan on next bootup". That way the program loads up before all the startup items, most of which at this point are spyware programs. Once loaded they can protect themselves. Before that, they cant as well. But- make sure you have all the viruses off first. Make sure you get at least one scan through the whole machine that comes back totally clean. Otherwise spyware will just reload.
That should do it for you! Best of luck to you. Personally, I would be careful, winme is a real deck of cards, and upsetting the OS can cause it permanent damage. For instance, I see alot of uninstalling either norton or mcafee totally destroy the system.
If your buddy has either of those, to get rid of them- run msconfig- and disable all startup items and services related to the program, dont uninstall. You run the rick of killing the machine.
You can tell I do this all day. Heck, I got one on the bench I gotta de-trojanize right now. Off to work I go!