Anna Marie Tendler Reflects on Her Mental Health “Breakdown” Amid Divorce From John Mulaney

Anna Marie Tendler recalled how her late dog Petunia supported her through "a mental health crisis" in the wake of her divorce from John Mulaney after six years of marriage.

By Angie Orellana Hernandez Jun 08, 2023 9:17 PMTags
Watch: John Mulaney's Ex Recalls "Severe" Breakdown

Content warning: This story discusses suicide.

Anna Marie Tendler is paying tribute to the pup who helped her through her divorce from John Mulaney.

The artist recently recalled the difficult months around her split from the comedian after six years of marriage, noting how her beloved French bulldog Petunia—who died in April—played a crucial part in guiding her through the devastating time.

"Petunia and I moved to Connecticut in December 2020, in the wake of my severe mental health breakdown and what appeared to be the impending end of my marriage," Tendler wrote in an essay for Elle published June 6. "We fused even more deeply together in an attuned and totally symbiotic relationship. She never let me out of her sight."

In fact, Petunia was protective over Tendler during this time.

"She watched me intently," Tendler added, "as if I was the thing she now needed to guard, though, where guarding once incited her primal rage, she would now guard me with the deepest kind of love I had ever known."

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And it was her own devotion to Petunia that kept her going.

"When I was hospitalized for depression, self-harm, and severe suicidal ideation in the first two weeks of 2021, the doctors asked me to make a list of my reasons for living," Tendler recalled. "Petunia was the one and only thing on that list."

The 37-year-old's hospitalization came amid Mulaney's stay in rehab for cocaine and alcohol addiction, which he entered in December 2020. After completely a 60-day stint, he entered outpatient care in February 2021 and confirmed his split from Tendler that May, with her writing in a statement to Page Six at the time, "I am heartbroken that John has decided to end our marriage."

Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

As for Petunia, Tendler said her late furry friend was her "constant through marriage, four moves, graduate school, a career change (or two), a mental health crisis, a divorce, and finally a reinvention."

And during Petunia's last moments, the former makeup artist shared that she "told her how much I love her" and thanked her for her steadfast support.

"I told her how grateful I was for her love and companionship," Tendler continued. "I promised her that I was okay and that I would be okay without her; crushed, lonely, but okay. I thanked her for staying with me—for guarding me—until I was strong enough to survive without her."

If you or someone you know needs help, call 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. You can also call the network, previously known as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or visit for additional resources.