How to Build a Successful Marriage: 39 Activities to a Healthier & Happier Marriage by Angelo and TJ Haygood shares the couple’s 39 years of challenges, twists, and lasting marriage. They share how God helped them connect more with each other.

Angelo and TJ Haygood sat down with Kate Delaney on the “Author’s Corner” segment on the latter’s syndicated radio program America Tonight with Kate Delaney to talk about their book How to Build a Successful Marriage. They deep-dived into the secrets they shared to a flourishing and lasting relationship. Learn how the authors mold their challenges to transform them into a wonderful message of hope and renewal.

Love’s Way in God’s Way

Angelo and TJ first met when they were college students at the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. TJ was a transfer student from a small Christian school called Southwestern Christian College. The first person she met and befriended was Angelo. She described him as “one of the nicest people I have ever met.”

TJ said, “I kept trying to introduce him to my girlfriends and my suitemates and my roommates. I was like, ‘You need to meet this guy. He was one of the nicest guys you ever wanna meet!’

The two dated other people throughout college and eventually broke up with them. Since the two were fond of each other, they decided to hang out in their senior year. TJ added, “Long story short, he became a Christian. And finally, we decided we wanted to spend so much time together that we were either going to dishonor God with our relationship or honor God with our relationship. And we got married our senior year.

Help Me: It Takes Two to Tango

Angelo discovered something remarkable in their relationship. He spent 25 years of service in the military, while TJ had a successful executive career as a recruiter and a corporate leader, which would eventually catapult her to becoming the CEO of a recruiting company.

Kate Delaney asked Angelo if he had imagined the differences in their career path when they first got together.

Angelo replied, “I didn’t realize this at the beginning of our marriage. It takes two to have a successful military career or a potential executive officer or something like that. I didn’t listen to her at the beginning of my career and wasn’t doing very well. And then, I started listening to her and all of a sudden, my career started taking off. Because she’s that other half. She’s my ‘help me.’ She helped me to be better.”

He also shared that the “help me” role switches depending on the situation. He said, “When she had her business, I became her ‘help me’ in that business. You know, it’s really interesting because when I was in the military, they would say, ‘Oh, this is Haygood and his wife,’ and that’s how she was introduced when we go to official functions and events and so on and so forth. When she owned her own business, and I would go out with her, I became, ‘This is TJ Haygood and her husband.’ We support each other in what the other person wanted to do what was important to them.”

The Book Sets a Foundation for Marriage

Kate Delaney asked the couple what the readers could expect to hear about in their book How to Build a Successful Marriage.

TJ Haygood shared his insights, “The book really sets up a foundation for marriage. I think we go into the marriage, filling out this wonderful emotional attachments, physical attachments, financial needs. But we often don’t go into the marriage identifying the role that we should play in order for it to be a successful marriage, and we found that to be in God’s way.

“We talk about things from our practical perspective that help people regardless if they are newlyweds, about to get married, or they’ve been married 25 or 50 years, and they just need a little extra boost every now and then.”

Their Commitment to God Helped Them Through Tough Times

Angelo shared how their marriage would also have its ups and downs, but both of them always had faith and their commitment to God as the number one priority, which also helped them up when anger found its way into their relationship.

“Love means that you care for her wellbeing more than you care for your anger for how you feel at the particular moment. That was really important because I had to get over a lot of angry moments and show my love to her to help heal, being to heal the relationship as it went forward.”

“We were a Mess.”

TJ talked about how their marriage was a mess, but their faith in God helped them get through the difficulties.

We were a disaster waiting to happen. I honestly believed that I was being punished for every sin that I had committed. And to tell you what an amazing man of God he has become, and I really believe it because we each individually surrender to God and gave our marriage to Him. The other person became more attracted again. The other person became more than the blessing that God already had for us in the beginning. We just couldn’t see it because we were in our own way.”

The Takeaway

The authors shared their insights on the book’s takeaway. Angelo said, “I hope that they take away that they’re not alone. They’re not by themselves. There is hope on the other side.”

TJ added, “If they could see the relationship between Jesus and the Church, He wants nothing but love and abundance for his people. If we understand that, it’s the most beautiful relationship ever!”

Need to supplement your relationship? Get a copy of How to Build a Successful Marriage: 39 Activities to a Healthier & Happier Marriage by Angelo and TJ Haygood on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Learn more about the authors and their works at