I believe I read thru all the posts here and was surprised I didn't see any mention to the fact that you stated you were'nt wearing a life jacket. Anytime the weather even starts to look like it might get nasty I make sure I have my life jacket on. Granted, I have an inflatable jacket so it's not as cumbersome, but I guess that relates to being comfortable as someone else said. It is so comfortable that I wear it most of the time - bad weather or not.
Back to your concern about heeling. My wife was the same way, and decided she didn't want to sail anymore. I convinced her to come with me one more time - and I haven't heeled more than 10 degrees since...at least not when she was with me. If reefing early and/or sailing with a reduced sail area are what it takes to have her comfortable and want to be with me, I'm more than happy comply.
Here's wishing you all the best!