Repression plays out subtly in The Awakening, as the open, "free-speaking" Creoles who are partly responsible for Edna’s awakening (artistically, sexually, etc.) turn out to be all talk and no walk. At the end of the day, the Creoles really do expect husbands and wives to be faithful to one another. They limit their scandalous behavior to flirtatious talk and "dirty" novels. Restraint is the name of the game here. In contrast, Edna, who begins the novel as very repressed, learns the talk and then walks the walk.
Had Edna Pontellier not spent her summer in Creole society, she would have remained unaware of her need for personal fulfillment and would have remained faithful to her husband.