This is a tough question because everyone handles recoil different. The .40 is a snappy round. For me, the felt recoil of the .40 is higher than that of the .45. Have you tried using .38 SPL in your Ruger? Those are far nicer on your hands, and for defensive use, a good, high quality defensive round is still more than adequate.
My advice, if you can, try shooting some different guns. Rent if you can, or see if you can borrow. Keep in mind that the smaller the gun, the more felt recoil. A good full sized 1911 .45, for me, has very little felt recoil, but put that same round into an XDS (small single stack .45) and it hits quite a bit harder.