second marriage to debate: the four-year union of the writers Carl Bernstein and Nora Ephron.
I love the movie Heartburn, which Ephron wrote as fictionalized revenge after she and Bernstein crashed and burned. They had two sons, the second born prematurely after Carl was caught convening a rump parliament with the future Baroness Jay of Paddington, a member of Britain's House of Lords.
In novel and film, Ephron lampooned Bernstein so hilariously that I'd be amazed if he ever dated another woman without first making her sign a non-disclosure agreement. James Wolcott believes she scared an entire class of famous men from bedding female writers, calling it the Nora Ephron factor:
Now here's Maureen Dowd, attractive, witty, bitchy, a woman who likes to share bon-bons of her personal life with readers. Ephron, the daughter of screenwriters, was brought up to believe "everything is copy," and I suspect that's Modo's philosophy too. But men with a lot to protect don't want to be turned into copy. Any bigshot in a public position of power and accountability is going to have to consider, "If our relationship [or marriage] hits the rocks, am I going to get ripped in print as revenge?"
At risk of my own matrimonial bliss, I often quote fictional Bernstein from Heartburn when asked whether I enjoyed a home-cooked meal: "I never want my roast beef cooked any other way." The line's delivered in such an insincere manner you wonder how fictional Ephron resisted the urge to gut him like a fish.