"There's not a tough time or any situation that's going to deter her or turn her off from what you going through," Lamar Odom said in 2012

By Charlotte Triggs
Updated October 15, 2015 01:25 PM

Although Khloé Kardashian and Lamar Odom split two years ago and were preparing to finalize their divorce, sources have told PEOPLE that they still cared about each other before he was found unresponsive in a Nevada brothel Tuesday.

And in an interview with PEOPLE in 2012, Odom said he relied on his then-wife, who promised to care for his children with ex Liza Morales if anything were to ever happen to him.

“I think two to three weeks [into our relationship], she said, ‘Lamar, you know what? Anything ever happens to you, I got your kids. They’re always going to be all right.’ That meant so much,'” Odom told PEOPLE. “She’s a serious person and when she’s down for you she’s down for you.”

At the time of the interview, Odom had recently been let go from the Dallas Mavericks after a devastating trade from the Los Angeles Lakers; Kardashian had stood by him through the tough times , even pulling the plug on their reality show, Khloé & Lamar, to focus on their marriage.

“She’s just thorough. If she has your back she’s going to follow you the whole way through,” Odom said in praise of his wife. “There’s not a tough time or any situation that’s going to deter her or turn her off from what you going through. If she has your back and she’s down with you, she’s down with you. I’ve experienced that time after time after time.”

Odom acknowledged that they had had a whirlwind relationship and hadn’t even known each other that long but had a deep connection.

“We’ve only known each other two to three years but it seems like I’ve known her for my whole life,” he said. “That’s because of our bond. Her instinct … it’s maternal. So her ability to take in and to love unconditionally is something that you get from her.”