Norman Mailer had many wives. Six, to be exact. Norris Church Mailer was the sixth. The last:
When Norris discovered the scope of Mailer’s infidelities, she was struck by how many of the women were either his age — he was near 70 then — or significantly overweight. “He made the remark, ‘Sometimes I want to be the attractive one.’ I think he felt if it wasn’t somebody young and beautiful, he wasn’t betraying me as much. He just couldn’t resist someone who told him what a great man he was and what a great writer he was. Every time he fell for it. After I found out, I kept saying to him, ‘Why didn’t I know?’ And he said, ‘It’s not hard to fool somebody who loves you and trusts you.’ ”
That’s rather devastating. She nodded. “You don’t ever love and trust them the same way again. But by that time, I had been around town long enough to know the guys who were available, and I thought: Is there somebody else I want to make a life with? Is there someone else I want to be the father of my children? I couldn’t think of one single person. If I had, maybe I would have taken that step.”
More, from the NY Times magazine, here.
(Nod to Eric N)