In The Story of an Hour, one is reminded how much can be changed in a short span of time. The wife, Louise, had been a caring and dutiful wife to her husband, Brentley. However, upon learning of his death, she began to realize that she would be free to lavish that caring upon herself.
Though their marriage was not what one would call bad, it still had the element of putting another's wants and needs before your own. It can be tiresome to continually be in service to another person, and to be the recipient of sometimes misguided service from them, no matter how much love there may be between the two of you.
Louise felt justified in reveling in her newfound freedom. She had been a good wife. Now, fate had relieved her of that responsibility. She was still young enough to enjoy living life on her own terms. She had gained freedom to come and go as she pleased, without feeling the need to answer to someone else, freedom to enjoy life, without worrying that her pleasures might offend someone—even if that someone was her husband.