What I was Looking for in Lust
At some time in recovery, I admitted that what I was always really looking for in all the lust and schmutz was true acceptance of me (or my body) for the sake of me (irrespective of my goodness or lack thereof), by someone that I really respect/worship. Someone I considered really Powerful. For me, that Someone was mainly: a pretty woman. After all, I had been giving them all my power by fantasizing their adoration of me for years. Isn't that what most of us do in our hearts with the schmutz? So, in short, I worshipped them.
(And I recognize today that in some small way I still feel some of that, even though I have Hashem and really worship Him now. I could ignore that sick part of me and pretend that it's gone - but I know I still have it. Whether or not it is immoral, is totally irrelevant to me, and b"H for that! It's just the Truth about me, and there is no place for shame about the Truth, at all. I'm an addict!)
At first, my Connection could be with someone imaginary, like a cartoon or photo. After a while, that was not enough. This was not a good development. The shekker got ever deeper and I became ever more ill and desperate.
Guys in recovery helped me admit that even if my wife did plug into my fantasies, it wouldn't give me what I really wanted. What I really wanted, she could only give me with Love, not just with sex. And certainly not with lust. Lust always ruined everything (except in my imagination! ). She could get lots of power by using lust, but I'd inexorably be drawn away from her one day anyway, cuz it'd all be about me, not us, at any rate.
When we are just beginning Recovery, a healthy and happy marriage relationship (including sexuality) - to paraphrase Mesillas Yeshorim - is "rochok mitziyur sichleinu". We often can't even believe it really exists! But we slowly grow, change, and become mentchen. Derech Eretz kodmah laTorah! Living right (Derech Eretz) slowly turns our heads right-side up so that we think right (Torah). Life finally begins to make sense and becomes interesting and fun.
It didn't come from thinking and figuring it out. Living right does.
Marriage is the same. Thinking won't fix it, only loving in action will.
Slowly we begin to know that the Connection that we really seek can't ever be fulfilled by lust, even within our marriages. It doesn't come close. Loving comes close, and the relationship works best when it's about loving, only.
The steps - not reading them, but working and living them - showed me for the first time in a way I could really see, that we need to start learning how to enjoy living with Hashem. We need to "give" our power to Him, rather than to our lust objects. It's what b'rachos and tefillah are all about! It's no longer all about us, cuz He really is the Shoresh (root) of everything. Perhaps that's where d'veikus starts.