This behaviour has happened before, but not frequently.
Does anyone have an explanation for this delay?
Only your provider can know for sure...but most likely one or the other user or both were being served by sites experiencing congestion at the time.
SMS messages are extremely lightweight, compared to other services and shouldn't consume very much in the way of resources...basically amounts to nothing more than a quick blurb of signaling.
Delay should generally be much more common when messages are exchanged between users of different operators.
Obviously that was not the case here between you and your wife, so maybe you should call your provider and ask them
if there has been any other problems reported in your area.
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